Grass fire causes evacuation of 900 homes west of Lawton

Grass fire causes evacuation of 900 homes west of Lawton

16 April 2011

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USA — A grass fire Friday west of Lawton caused the evacuation of 900 homes and damaged or destroyed some structures.

The fire started west of Lawton near NW Deyo Mission Road and NW Cache Road about 12:45 p.m. High winds pushed the fire southeast, causing evacuations of many homes and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Comanche County spokesman Chris Killmer said.

Oklahoma City firefighters look at power lines dislodged Friday by high winds on Hefner Road just east of Kelley Ave. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman

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Grass fire causes evacuation of 900 homes west of Lawton

About 25 fire departments sent 60 trucks and 150 firefighters to the fire, which Killmer described as 60 percent contained by about 6:30 p.m. Authorities evacuated 19 square miles near the blaze.

The American Red Cross opened an evacuation shelter at Holy Family Catholic Church at 1010 NW 82nd St. The shelter is only for those who have been evacuated because of the fire.

Killmer said seven buildings have been lost, all of them barns, sheds and other unoccupied structures. One home suffered roof damage.

Wind gusts overturn vehicles
Winds gusting as high as 60 mph caused problems across the state.

Two tractor-trailer rigs and a travel trailer being towed by a pickup overturned on Interstate 40 east of Elk City, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said. West said no serious injuries were reported.

A double-wide trailer that was being towed overturned about 11 a.m. on State Highway 76 just north of Healdton, troopers said.

Across Oklahoma City, several grass fires kept firefighters busy Friday, Fire Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland said.

Gusty winds also caused power lines to sag and spark, Stanaland said. Firefighters responded to more than 20 calls of power line problems throughout the day. A barn burned at 13700 SE 89 after a sparking power line set a fire, but Stanaland said he wasn’t sure whether the power line set the barn on fire or caught the grass on fire first.

A large grass fire was reported about 5 p.m. about two miles south of Cement in Caddo County.

Capt. Greg Stone from the Anadarko Fire Department said multiple fire departments were helping with the fire, but he didn’t know how large it was or whether it was threatening any structures.

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