UPDATE 6:10 a.m. A 56-year-old man who lived in a mobile home refused to evacuate the wildfire when warned Sunday and died in the fire, Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow told reporters Monday.The man was later found dead in the mobile home in rural Logan County, Harlow said. The number of homes that could be counted before dark that were destroyed was six, Harlow said. That number will “definitely” go up once daylight reveals more destruction from a wildfire that is “75 percent contained,” Harlow said. The area is east of Interstate 35 between Seward and E Prairie Grove roads, and Midwest and Douglas boulevards. Air support from the Oklahoma National Guard will not be available before 11 a.m., and weather conditions are expected to be hot and dry, increasing wildfire danger. The fire has forced the evacuation of about 1,000 people. Check NewsOK.com for updates.
UPDATE 5:30 a.m. Firefighters are battling hot spots that have flared up in Logan County early Monday, a Guthrie fire dispatcher said. Fire was reported along Prairie Grove Road early Monday. The name of a fire victim found in rural Logan County has not been released.
GUTHRIE — A huge grass fire Sunday east of Interstate 35 in Logan County forced the evacuation of numerous people and their pets, and may have claimed the life of one man.
Edmond Fire Department reported on Twitter early Monday morning that a 56-year-man was found dead inside his home. Details about the death were not immediately available.
The wildfire, which began as a controlled burn, got out of control about 4 p.m. because of the weather’s mix of heat and high winds. By Sunday night, it had consumed at least six homes, as well as many other structures, Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said.
Multiple fire departments were continuing to battle the fire, located near E Seward Road, just south and east of Guthrie.
Firefighters fought the blaze throughout the night, and Harlow hoped to call in air support Monday when the sun is back up.
About 9:30 p.m., Harlow said that the east, west and southern boundaries of the fire were under control with burning in some areas. The northern boundary near E Prairie Grove Road was the area of concern.
Many evacuees waited for updates from authorities at a gas station west of the fire at Interstate 35 and Seward Road. Alyssa Hutton, 32, escaped unharmed, but she wasn’t so sure about her house.
“There was smoke and ash flying everywhere,” Hutton said, pointing toward the billowing black smoke that could be seen rising above the trees.
After seeing the flames in her neighbor’s backyard, Hutton loaded as much as she could into her truck. She was able to rescue her four dogs and grab important papers, clothes, pictures, dog food and a television.
Before she left her home, Hutton heard noises that sounded like “an airplane taking off.”
“You could hear the propane tanks exploding,” she said.
At that point she knew she had to leave quickly.
Jeremy Barnett wasn’t able to grab any possessions when evacuations began, but he did escape with what really matters.
“I was just grabbing the kids and the dogs,” Barnett said. He, too, was unsure about the condition of his house Sunday evening.
“We didn’t have time to grab anything,” Cardelia Hayes said. “I wish I could know if my house was still there,” she said.
Hayes described the possibility of her home still standing as a “bittersweet” outcome because she knew that everyone wasn’t going to be unaffected.
Alongside evacuees at the gas station, countless people stopped and took pictures of the smoke with their cell phones. People even parked on the shoulder of I-35 to view the inferno.
The smell of the smoke was also was reported in Stillwater, and the dark plumes of smoke could be seen for miles.
Authorities have asked people to stay out of the area from Midwest Boulevard to Westminster Boulevard south of State Highway 105 while firefighters continued to try to get the blaze under control.
The Red Cross is operating out of Community Church as a shelter on the northwest side of I-35 and Seward Road.
They are ready to take information and provide resources for displaced residents, officials said.
The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief said it was monitoring the situation and was ready to mobilize if needed.
The Lazy E Arena in Guthrie has opened it’s stalls to anyone who needs shelter for their horses or other livestock displaced by the fire.