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Oklahoma officials try to identify wildfire victim, battle flare-ups

Over the weekend the fires that burned across the state damaged nearly 94,000 acres and on Monday a body was found in a Norman home. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez reports.

Updated at 8:34 p.m. ET: Oklahoma firefighters on Monday battled flare-ups and hot spots across the state as medical officials tried to identify a body burned beyond recognition in a rural Norman home.

The Oklahoma medical examiner's office requested dental records to identify the body found Saturday, said spokesperson Amy Elliott.

Tina Frost, is overcome as she sifts through what is left of her Mannford home.

The area south of Oklahoma City had been evacuated after a wildfire erupted Friday, and some residents weren't allowed to return until Sunday.

About 7,900 acres burned and about 100 structures were lost in the Cleveland County fire including the Noble, Norman and Slaughterville areas, NBC station KFOR of Oklahoma City reported.

One fire chief reported the wildfires were so violent in the area that structures were “pretty much incinerated,” KFOR reported.

Jim Beckel / AP file

Victoria Landavazo holds her 1-year-old child, Axel, after arriving with other members of her family on Saturday to see for the first time what a wildfire had done to their home in Luther, Okla.

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Crews had battled 18 wildfires that hopscotched across Oklahoma since Friday, torching at least 121 structures and charring almost 94,000 acres amid a drought.

Fires left only ashes in some spots, while property just feet away looked remarkably untouched. In some cases, the flames shifted with the wind, while in others, streams or ponds forced a detour.

Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said all the fires were either under control or in "mop-up" stages early Monday afternoon. Mop-ups could go on for days, Cain said.

Tom Gilbert / AP file

Smoke covers Highway 48 on Saturday, east of Drumright, Okla.

Twelve fires, including "a couple of new ones," continued, Cain said.

"High heat, low humidity and very strong winds make it difficult for crews and easy for fires to spread," Cain said.

One, which threatened the small town of Luther over the weekend, is being investigated as a possible arson. Witnesses told Oklahoma County sheriff's deputies they saw a man throwing a lighted newspaper from a black Ford pickup, but no arrests have been made.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.



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