Wildfires shut highway near Woodward

Friday, March 21st 2008, 12:24 pm
By: News 9


WOODWARD, Okla. -- Wind-whipped wildfires forced authorities to close a northwestern Oklahoma highway Friday afternoon for the third time in two days.

Parts of U.S. 412 was closed most of Friday. At 4 p.m. the highway reopened near the U.S. 281 junction.

At 3 p.m., U.S. 412 was closed one mile east of the U.S. 281 junction in Major County. The highway was open for about two hours before officials closed the road again.

Firefighters were also battling another blaze 4 miles north of Chester.

Temperatures in the area were approaching 70 degrees with winds gusting to 20 mph.

"This is day two of the same thing," said Woodward Fire Marshal Todd Finley.

It's the second day in a row firefighters have worked to control fires in Woodward and Major counties. A large grass fire forced the evacuation of more than 200 people near Quinlan on Thursday. Firefighters contained the fire late Thursday night before hot spots flared up in the morning. Read more about Thursday's fire.

Officials estimate 2,000 to 3,000 acres have burned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.