The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 6, 2014

Update: Woodward County blaze contained ... for now

Jessica Miller, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

WOODWARD, Okla. — Firefighters have contained a Woodward County wildfire that is expected to continue burning.

“We’ve been working all night to create fire breaks and fire guards and barriers, in preparation for the winds today and tomorrow,” Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer said. “We’re hoping that we have it where we can keep it contained for the next two days.”

Lehenbauer said the challenge statewide for all the fires is getting them contained ahead of winds expected over the next two days.

“The next two days are going to be treacherous for firefighting conditions,” he said.

No occupied homes have burned in the fire and there have been no injuries, besides a few firefighters who suffered from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, according to Lehenbauer.

“So, we’ve held our lines all night and things are looking up for us,” he said, adding there are concerns about conditions possibly changing this afternoon. “We expect this to burn for another week, but hopefully we can keep it within the area that’s already burned.”

The fire — which began a mile south of U.S. 412 between roads 219 and 220, near Quinlan, about 21 miles east of Woodward — was the largest in size in the state, Lehenbauer said. A fire near Guthrie, in Logan County, was reportedly the second largest. Fire officials still are investigating what caused the fire in Woodward County.

Firefighters from Kansas and Texas were brought in to assist near Quinlan on Monday night. Lehenbauer said local firefighters needed to be relieved and will return to work today.