The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 6, 2014

NEW: Residents evacuated for wildfire in Woodward County

Jessica Miller, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

WOODWARD, Okla. — Fire officials are conducting more evacuations in Woodward County in response to a fast-moving wildfire that has already injured two and burned at least one home and a number of outbuildings.

As of 4:30 p.m., the fire was moving from Woodward County into Harper County, according to Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer.

“We’re conducting more evacuations at this time. We’ve got at least 25 residences evacuated. We have two people that have been burned and medi-flighted out. We have one home, at least, that’s been burned and we’re still trying to find others in this area,” Lehenbauer said, adding that the blaze has traveled a good distance since it began earlier today.

The blaze originated four miles northwest of Woodward, near Highway 270 and East-West County Road 36, and was moving northeast when a fire warning was relayed by the National Weather Service at 1:40 p.m.

At that time, residents from County Road 194 and County Road 196 and from East-West 37 and East-West 34 were being told to evacuate immediately to the south. Evacuees were being told to go to the Woodward Pioneer Room at Ninth and Oklahoma in Woodward.

U.S. Highway 183, four miles west of Woodward to Fort Supply, was closed at 1:49 p.m. for the blaze.

There were two National Guard Black Hawk helicopters assisting in fighting the fire as well as fire departments from numerous counties, including Alfalfa, Grant, Major, Woods, Dewey, Harper, Woodward and  Beaver counties and fire departments from Texas and Kansas, according to Lehenbauer.

At 4 p.m., a task force from Garfield County was preparing to head to Woodward County to assist.

Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg said the task force had been told to report northwest of Woodward, on the highway to Fort Supply.

Firefighters also continued to work to contain another blaze that had been burning near Quinlan — 21 miles east of Woodward — since Sunday.

The fire had been contained earlier in the day but was out of control around 4:30 p.m., according to Lehenbauer.

There were a number of outbuildings and some unoccupied homes burned in the fire.

A Red Flag Warning was issued by the National Weather Service in reference to wildfire conditions today and Wednesday across western and central Oklahoma.

Windy weather, low humidity and hot temperatures were expected to cause wildfire danger.

The warning is to be in effect until 10 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.