MOORELAND, Okla. — Wildfires whipped by strong winds struck Northwest Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon, with one blaze burning two homes and several outbuildings near Mooreland.
The fire also led to evacuations in parts of Mooreland, including a number of residences, the high school and a nursing home, said Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer. Several patients from the nursing home were brought to AllianceHealth in Woodward.
Firefighters also were battling a fire in Ellis County that was leading to evacuations in the small community of Fargo.
The Mooreland fire started in mid-afternoon Tuesday about a mile southwest of Mooreland around County Road EW41 and Oklahoma 50, Lehenbauer said.
Initial reports indicate two homes were destroyed, he said, along with multiple outbuildings.
Lehenbauer said no homes in Mooreland city limits were los,t although the fire burned into a few backyards. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters still were working in the area well into the evening.
High winds with gusts up to 60 mph made battling the fire difficult.
Woodward County Emergency Management requested a fire warning for the county shortly before 2:30 p.m. The evacuation area was bounded by Oklahoma 50 and County Road NS212 on the west, County Road NS 217 on the east, County Road EW 41 on the south and County Road EW 34 on the north.
As the afternoon turned into evening, the weather cooperated a bit. Wind gusts slowed to about 30 to 40 mph and the wind shifted to the northwest, helping firefighters get ahead of the blaze in Mooreland, Lehenbaguer said.
Lehenbauer said the Pioneer Room in Woodward was being made available to residents who needed to evacuate.
Fire units from throughout Woodward County responded to the scene, along with a unit from Oklahoma Forestry Service staged in Woodward. Calls were made to area counties for assistance as well. Numerous Woodward County road graders also were called in to assist.
Later in the afternoon, the focus was changing to Ellis County near Fargo.
Homes in Fargo were being evacuated around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to scanner traffic. Firefighters and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were going door to door in Fargo to alert residents of the situation.
In Garfield County, a wildfire about 5 miles north of Garber burned about 70 acres, according to Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management.
No injuries were reported. Units from Douglas, Covington, Fairmont, Garber, Breckinridge, Hunter, Kremlin and Hillsdale-Carrier fire departments responded.