Crews Continue To Contain Massive Wildfire In Northwest Oklahoma


Tuesday, March 17th 2015, 6:27 pm
By: News 9


Estimated to cover more than 36 miles, a massive wildfire continued to threaten much of northwest Oklahoma Tuesday. The fire started Monday and the next day crews said they are still hoping to contain the blaze.

With more than 160 personnel working to contain this fire that's already burned more than 23,000 acres, homeowners have found themselves in the middle of the chaos.

"Crazy, I don't even have words for it. It's ... It's crazy," said Kim Edwards, a homeowner in Woodward.

Edwards said she has never been through anything like this.

"We're very lucky. We're very blessed. I can't thank God and everybody else enough. We're good," she said.

At times 50 to 60 foot tall flames were closer to her home than their own height. Kim took the kids and evacuated. Her husband stayed behind and jumped on the 4-wheeler to join fire crews who were doing everything they could to save the Edwards' home.

3/16/15 Related Story: At Least 23K Acres Burned In Wildfire Northeast Of Woodward

"And hopefully they're doing OK out there. I know they're still battling some of it," Edwards said.

Fire crews worked to contained more of the fire Tuesday. No injuries or fatalities have been reported. But six structures were lost, including mobile homes.

Incident commander Drew Daily with the Oklahoma Department of Forestry reported that only 20 percent of the fire was considered contained Tuesday afternoon. And around 100 residents remained threatened by the fire that's flames appeared to have died down.

Forestry Incident Commander Drew Daily still urged caution. "However, we just do want to keep that note of caution out there that we don't have containment on this yet, we are working very diligently towards [sic]."

So two Blackhawk helicopters will remain on standby in Woodward and crews from around 16 different departments will continue their work that Daily considered impressive and Edwards knew was life-saving.

"They're hearts are huge out there. They're doing everything they can. You know they're exhausted but they kept battling I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They're just awesome. It gets kind of emotional but they're awesome," Edwards said.

The forestry planned to reassess the fire Wednesday morning to have a better idea on its damage and its containment.

In addition to the already 24,000 acres burned. The forestry estimated an addition 1,500 acres have burned Tuesday.