Firefighters corral wildfire in Woodward County

Thursday, March 20th 2008, 7:48 pm
By: News 9 and Wire reports

Update: March 21 7:20 a.m.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said one of the fires from the massive blaze was accidentally started when a car tire blew out creating a spark that ignited a dry field.

Roads are reopened Friday morning that were closed Thursday due to the fire.

QUINLAN, Okla. -- Firefighters were able to corral a large wildfire Thursday night that prompted the evacuation of residents from the town of Quinlan.

More than 200 people were evacuated from their homes as a grass fire raged toward a Woodward County community.

Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer said the blaze that began about 3:30 p.m. had been 70 percent contained by 9:45 p.m.

Lehenbauer said the only parts of the fire that weren't under control by that time were south of U.S. 412 and not near any populated areas.

Officials said two separate fires combined to make the large blaze. One began east of the Major County line near U.S. 412 and the other started about five miles west of that location.

U.S. 412 in the area was closed at 6:15 p.m. about 10 miles east of Mooreland after the fire crossed the highway and burned toward the town.

Fire departments from Texas and Kansas assisted more than 30 Oklahoma departments in battling the blaze.