Several large fires burning across Oklahoma
LEEDEY, Okla. (KOKH) - Several large wildfires have broken out across Oklahoma as fire weather conditions remain critical.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports that wildfire dangers remain from critical to extreme Thursday through Saturday due to dry conditions and high winds. The "Rhea Fire" broke out around 2 p.m. April 12 nine miles southeast of Leedey in Dewey County.
The fire has grown to 19,000 acres and is continuing to grow due to dry conditions and high wind. OFS says that numerous structures are threatened due to the fire.
Two wildland task forces and helicopters have been dispatched to help fight the fire.
The "34 Complex" incident four miles northwest of Woodward contains several different wildfires. The fires are threatening multiple structures in the area and has grown to more then 115, 000 acres.
The fire caused the Department of Transportation to close SH-34 five miles north of Woodward. The Red Cross has opened a center for those evacuated at the Faith United Methodist Church.
In Lincoln County, the "66 Fire" two miles west of Davenport burned approximately 150 acres.
A half dozen agencies were called to a fire near Anderson Road and Forrest Hills in Logan County Thursday afternoon. It spread quickly, about 10 to 12 miles southeast of Guthrie.
A few homes in the immediate vicinity had to be evacuated, but no houses or buildings were damaged.
The National Guard brought in a chinook helicopter to drop water from the air and the Oklahoma Forestry Service used dozer crews to build a fire line. The dry, windy conditions made it difficult for fighters to get the fire under control.
"Unfortunately, Mother Nature's not throwing us any good pitches so we're having to deal with what she sends us, which is unfortunately not going to be any real recovery time in the overnight hours," said Chief Eric Harlow of the Guthrie Fire Department. "Usually the humidity will come back up, but unfortunately it looks like we're in for another couple days of the same conditions."
As of 6:00 p.m. the OFS is reporting a new fire, the Shaw Fire, located south of Durham in Roger Mills County near the Black Kettle National Grasslands. The fire is estimated to be about 2,000+ acres and is being fought by local Volunteer Fire Departments and the OFS Task Force.