Oklahoma wildfires: Mild weather controlled most blazes, but not in Creek County

“This is now a marathon, not a sprint,” Oklahoma State Forrester George Geissler said Sunday morning. “The fires are not going to be contained or under control for several days still,” he said.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Modified: August 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012
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“The fire burned through here so violently and so hot that the structures were pretty much incinerated,” he said.

The blaze had been contained and State Highway 9 was reopened Sunday evening. No significant injuries had been reported.

“If things continue the way they are right now, and the weather forecast holds true, I think by this time (Monday) we can say that the fire is out,” Fullingim said.

Oklahoma County

The Luther fire was brought under control late Saturday, and was contained by Sunday evening, Oklahoma County Emergency Manager David Barnes said. Power and water service have also been restored to the town and surrounding areas, he said.

“The wind shift that came through during the night caused a few issues, but they were handled. We knew it was coming and we had plans in place,” Barnes said.

Nine homes and five mobile homes in Luther and another four or five homes south of town were burned, as well as about 25 other structures. The number of acres burned was not available Sunday, but the fire cut a path six miles long and a mile and a half wide, Barnes said.

Only minor injuries to firefighter were reported.

Pawnee County

“There were some structures damaged and lost. There were homes damaged,” said Pawnee County Emergency Management Director Mark Randell.

Evacuations were near the Hallett, Jennings and Mannford areas. No injuries were reported, Randell said. There weren't reports available on the number of homes or structures that were damaged.

The county received some rain overnight, but “I don't think it was enough to put the fire completely out,” Randell said. “Everybody is exhausted but we ask people to continue to pray and help the families and help the (firefighters) that are dealing with the fire on a daily basis.”

Pittsburg County

The fires were under control early Sunday and no homes had been lost, said Sheriff Joel Kerns.

Kerns said some structures in the county burned, but he said no official reports were available. Kerns said some homes were evacuated Saturday as fires approached but they were saved with the help of road graders that were nearby.

“The county had some road graders and some local owners had some bulldozers and that was how we were able to manage,” Kerns said.

It's unknown how many acres burned, but “we had a lot,” Kerns said.

“We had all 27 fire departments in the county that were fighting the blaze, along with departments from Haskell County,” Kerns said.

CONTRIBUTING: Tulsa World

Oklahoma wildfires


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