12 Apr 2009

Rain forecast for US wildfire states

7:45 am on 12 April 2009

Heavy rain is forecast this weekend in parts of the southern United States hit by wildfires.

The blazes have killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes in Texas and Oklahoma since Thursday.

In Texas, the towns of Sunset and Stoneburg were burned. Oklahoma declared a state of emergency in more than 30 counties after fires destroyed more than 160 homes.

Forecasters in both states say rain is expected late on Saturday into Sunday.

The BBC reports the fires were fanned by high winds, part of a storm system that has also triggered tornadoes in Arkansas on Thursday and in Tennessee on Friday.

At least five people died and about 70 were hurt in two separate tornadoes.