Flames bring evacuations, road closures across Oklahoma

BY BRYAN DEAN Modified: April 10, 2009 at 8:36 am •  Published: April 10, 2009

/> Kevin Rhoads, Purcell Emergency Management Director, said 12 to 15 square miles were burned.

Brenda Nunn, who lives on State Highway 76 about eight miles north of Lindsay, said she went outside and began watering the grass around her home when she heard about the approaching fire at 3 p.m.

A sheriff’s deputy came by and told her to evacuate. Nunn said she couldn’t even take her car; she left in a patrol car.

"The smoke was so heavy, I couldn’t see the flame,” Nunn said. "I just left the hose running.”

Nunn said the last she heard, her house was OK, but the house behind hers was burned. She planned to stay with relatives Thursday night.

Authorities said those in the evacuated area were being sent to the Purcell Fire Department, where they would be given instructions on where they could stay for the night.

Angie Jarman, who lives about eight miles north of Lindsay, said she would spend the night sitting alongside a county road near State Highway 76 and hope her home is still there in the morning.

Earlier Thursday she received a call from her daughter and sons from the home, saying a fire was close. She dashed home and was stopped by police, who eventually let her pass when she explained she had children there. Police gave her 10 minutes.

"Photos were all I had time to grab,” she said. "That and my dad’s medicine, and that’s it.”

Lincoln County
Three fires were burning out of control in Lincoln County, said Ben Springfield, deputy emergency management director for the county.

A firefighter suffered major burns while battling a blaze and was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, Chandler Emergency Management Director Larry Hicks said.

"We had one truck that got overrun,” Hicks said. "It’s pretty severe.”

Residents of the Lincoln County town of Sparks, population 150, were told to evacuate their homes.

Homes burned south of Wellston, he said. Other homes were evacuated northeast of Chandler.

"There is no count yet, but there have been several homes lost,” Springfield said.

He said two firefighters needed medical assistance at one of the fires.

"The fires have moved rapidly out of control northeast,” he said.

Elsewhere
Areas of southeast Oklahoma City near Lake Stanley Draper were evacuated as firefighters battled a large wild fire near SE 134 and Anderson Road.

Several grass fires near Velma and Loco caused evacuations. Those leaving were asked to go to the Stephens County Fairgrounds in Duncan, said the county’s emergency manager.

Contributing: Staff Writers Michael Kimball, Ann Kelley, Robert Medley, Brian Sargent, Nolan Clay, Jennifer Griswold, Jesse Olivarez

Hot spots
Fires at these locations were detected on infrared satellite by the National Weather Service between 4:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Thursday.


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Powerless
About 2,400 OG&E customers were without power Thursday night, including nearly 1,000 in Midwest City, officials said.

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