As many as 15 fire departments from surrounding communities joined together to fight a massive grassfire that began Wednesday morning and officials say burned more than 300 acres before it was fully contained.
Highway 33 was closed by Creek County Sheriff’s deputies for several hours about a mile east of the Highway 48 junction as the fire caused smoke so thick it made seeing the roadway difficult. Traffic was diverted north on 337th W. Ave to 91st Street and then routed west to Highway 48, where drivers could join back up with Hwy 33 and get around the blaze.
Creek County Commissioner Newt Stephens says they don’t know how the fire started, but he’s grateful that there was no structural damage or injuries. “It’s about the best thing we can hope for, is that it’s just burnt grass,” he said. “That’s what we always try to do.”
Among the departments involved in fighting the fire were Drumright, Olive, Shamrock, Freedom Hill, and even a collection of departments from Payne County. Kellyville and Mannford were also on hand initially but had to leave to go fight fires near their own towns.
Forestry service planes were active as well, dropping fire-retardant chemicals on the fire:
As of 7:00 pm on Wednesday evening, Stephens said the highway was about to be reopened.
Creek County continues to be under an elevated fire threat due to increasing southerly winds and low humidity. On Thursday, the National Weather Service is calling for shower and thunderstorm chances to increase throughout the day Thursday and into Thursday night. A few strong to severe storms will be possible late Thursday afternoon and evening, mainly across parts of southeast Oklahoma. Large hail and damaging winds will be the main threats.