Houses evacuated after large wildfire in southeast Oklahoma City
Hundreds of acres burned Sunday in southeast Oklahoma City, and homes in the area were evacuated but not destroyed.
No injuries were immediately reported with the wildfire.
It started about 11:30 a.m. in the area bounded by SE 134 on the north, Air Depot Boulevard on the east, SE 149 on the south and Midwest Boulevard on the west, Oklahoma City fire Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said.
Firefighters from nearby areas in Oklahoma, Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties jumped into the fray as the day wore on and the fire continued to spread. The Oklahoma National Guard made water drops by helicopter.
By 2:30 p.m., about 600 acres had been scorched as the fire pushed south. Some homes in the area were evacuated, as were homes along Indian Hills Road and 24th and 36th Ave. NE in northeastern Norman. The number of homes involved was not immediately known, Fulkerson said.
The fire was contained before it spread into Norman, but another fire sprung up near SE 134 and Sooner Road, east of Kitchen Lake, Fulkerson said.
Two mobile homes were partially burned and two outbuildings destroyed, but no houses, he said.
By the time it was tamed, the fire had burned across about 900 acres, Fulkerson said.
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The fire was not considered contained by sundown, as flare-ups and hot spots kept popping up in the affected area, although it had ceased spreading, he said.
The fire's cause was not determined Sunday afternoon.
"We're going to be out all night. It's going to be a long one," Fulkerson said.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday extended a burn ban for 52 central and eastern Oklahoma until Feb. 24.
Counties included in the ban are: Adair, Atoka, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Latimer, Le Flore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Marshall, Mayes, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.
Campfires, bonfires, and fireworks are prohibited, while outdoor welding is still allowed under safety precautions if winds are below 20 mph, according to the governor's proclamation.
The National Weather Service on Sunday evaluated fire risk as "near critical" for the state, but only Latimer, Le Flore and Pushmataha counties were under a red flag alert during daylight hours Sunday.
The weather service assesses the rest of the week as "low" in fire danger, as rain is expected to move into the state Sunday night. Some far western areas may see snow overnight as storms track east Monday.