Two-thirds of the country in a punishing drought. This evening, ground zero near oklahoma city where a dozen fires ripped through tinder-dry neighborhoods. You see the fire behind it. So many homes... See More
Two-thirds of the country in a punishing drought. This evening, ground zero near oklahoma city where a dozen fires ripped through tinder-dry neighborhoods. You see the fire behind it. So many homes outlined by the flames. This image from the town of luther. And further south. Animals true. This horse struggling to escape the quick-moving blaze. We begin with mike boettcher. On the frontlines of the fires just outside oklahoma city. Mike. Reporter: David, I live in oklahoma, when the temperatures hit 113 and winds started kicking up. It was clear there was trouble coming. And sure enough, it was. The extreme conditions turned brush fires into firestorms across several oklahoma counties. At least 100 buildings burned to the ground. Almost half of them homes. A day care center was turned to ash. Hundreds were evacuated in advance of the flame. When I left, the fire was right at my back door. Reporter: Arson was expected in this fire near the small central oklahoma town of luther. At day break, oklahoma governor mary fallin spoke to families who lost everything. Emergency managers told her this year could bring one of the worst wildfire breakouts in the state's history. This has been a very, very tough situation. Over 110 degrees and you have huge flames and massive fires. Reporter: This family saw the frames roaring toward them. Daughter jessica snapped these shots of advancing flames as the family abandoned their home. They are lucky they escaped with their lives. We barely got pictures out. We had maybe 30 minutes. I turned blue in the face. I was passed out in the driveway leaving. I couldn't believe. Everything is gone. Reporter: Next door, casey strahan looked for memories in the ashes of his home. He found nothing. In a tornado you find things that are salvageable. You come here and move anything it turns to dust. Reporter: Everyone along dogwood street say they will rebuild. Today, the weather is extremely hot and dry and the probability of more fires remaining incredibly high. David. Mike boettcher leading us off there in oklahoma city. Stunning to see the ash as far us about this. Of course the drought plays into this, because it's perfect fuel. That's the name they call it. Oklahoma city included in the state that has 99% in severe drought or greater. But queer' seeing the hot conditions taking a break. Their first, 99. UPPER 90s NOW. You said some relief. A little rain. That's also bringing severe weather with it? Correct. This cold front extends all of the way to chicago. It's kicked off severe thunderstorms. Now in west indiana and beyond. What I want to emphasize, placesin chicago. 150,000 without power and la la pa lu paluzza, a huge event, with thousands of people outside. You're also following tropical storm ernesto. This is heavy rains, winds we're seeing in parts of the caribbean. You say this is on the move? It should become a hurricane. It will slam into the yucatan peninsula and once it gets past there. See the timing, thursday at 2:00 p.M. It has an open gulf ahead. That's where we worry, does it hit the u.S.? Will it be a hurricane still? This will be by next weekend. We've got a lot of time. We'll have more on "gma"
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