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Large fire in far northwest Oklahoma prompts evacuations

A large grass fire in northwest Woodward county extended into Harper County. The National Weather Service in Norman issued a fire warning Woodward and Harper counties.
by Jonathan Sutton Modified: May 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: May 6, 2014

A large grass fire northwest of Woodward on Tuesday prompted numerous evacuations and closed a stretch of U.S. 183.

The fire started about 12:30 p.m. and was four miles northwest of Woodward. The fire moved rapidly about 13.5 miles toward the northeast and was about 3.2 miles in width. By Tuesday evening, about half of the fire had been contained.

“The fire grew really quick. I mean, we are used to big fires up here, but we weren’t expecting this,” Woodward assistant Fire Chief Todd Finley said. “We’re still not sure how this fire started.”

The National Weather Service issued a fire warning for Woodward and Harper counties Tuesday afternoon and a burn ban is in effect for the western half of Oklahoma.

Fire crews from three states, the Oklahoma Forestry Services, a heavy air tanker and two Black Hawk helicopters assisted the Woodward Fire Department as they continued to battle the fire.

“That’s normally not the norm for us because we are so remote but, in this area, we had a lot of residential properties that we were concerned about,” Finley said.

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by Jonathan Sutton
Breaking News Reporter
Jonathan Sutton is a reporter covering breaking news and crime for The Oklahoman and He grew up in Ada and has a degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University. He was the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily O'Collegian, OSU's student...
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