Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Prompts Evacuations, Threatens Homes Near Woodward
Updated at 4:25 p.m.
Authorities are evacuating about two dozen homes as a wildfire moves rapidly northwest of Woodward.
Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer says the fire is moving rapidly from north to east across U.S. 270. He told the Woodward News about two dozen homes are in the fire's path about five miles northwest of the city.
At around 2:30 in the afternoon, at least one home six miles north of Woodward began to burn and flames from it pushed on northeast by 25 to 35 mph coming from the Southwest.
Numerous local volunteer and city fire departments from Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma have been on seen almost nonstop since Sunday when fire began east of Woodward. Early Tuesday, fires began again west of Woodward.
The Oklahoman's Jonathan Sutton reports fire crews from across Northwest Oklahoma are trying to contain the blaze that's already burned thousands of acres.
Woodward crews are the only paid firefighters in the area,
[Assistant Fire Chief Todd] Finley said, and they have been working to distinguish a fire east of Woodward since Sunday.
Finley said Woodward fire crews are needing assistance.
“We need a lot of help,” Finley said. “We have every piece of equipment we have out there, and it’s not helping.”
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Warning for Woodward County and a burn ban is in effect for the western half of Oklahoma. A shelter has been set up at the Woodward Pioneer Room.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it has closed U.S. Highway 183 from four miles west of Woodward to Fort Supply. U.S. Route 270 and U.S. Highway 183 are the same road in that area.
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