Weather conditions were expected to improve substantially Friday afternoon. "As far as winds are concerned, we're quite a bit weaker than on Thursday," said Scott Curl, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We're seeing behind the cold front that's working through southeast part of the state that winds are out of the northwest at 15 to 25 mph.
"There are some gusts still over 40 in scattered portions of western and central Oklahoma." Winds gusted between 55 and 62 mph in the vicinity of the fires, but blew as strong as 76 mph in southwestern Oklahoma, according to the weather service, which played a vital role in warning residents of the fires. Northwest winds from 15 to 30 mph with gusts exceeding 40 mph are expected to continue through mid-morning before a gradual decrease late in the morning or early afternoon hours, the weather service said.