Massive Wildfire Makes Way Across Washington, Osage County Ranchlands

Sunday, March 6th 2016, 9:21 pm
By: News On 6

Thousands of acres burned through Osage and Washington counties on Sunday as crews from nearly a dozen agencies did their best to get the wildfire under control.

“It actually looks like a volcano; it doesn't look like a hill in Oklahoma," Brooke Baughman said.

High winds and dry grass kindled the fire that threatened a casino, home, cars, and wildlife. Baughman the scene is a spectacular yet scary one.

"It's devastating, but it's beautifully destructive,” Baughman said. “It kind of catches you in awe, but the fact that it can destroy everything in its path it kind of blows your mind."

3/6/2016 Related Story: Grass Fires Spread Across Northeastern Oklahoma On Sunday

Since the majority of the land burned is open pasture, Osage County’s Emergency Manager said the wind in some areas is moving the flames as fast at 300 to 400 feet a minute.

“So it's scooting, and they can't keep up with it in this rough country,” OCEM Jerry Roberts said.

Up and down Highway 123 and the surrounding areas, the grass is scorched and the fire rages on. Baughman said her aunt and uncle who live nearby will have to evacuate soon if the fire gets much closer.

“It’s going as far west at it can be, and it's jumped Highway 123 and is going as far east as you can see,” she said.

Emergency managers say if the fire keeps spreading like it is, closer to 12,000 acres will be burned before the night is over.

News on 6 Storm Tracker Von Castor captured the flames consuming several outbuildings in the rural, ranch land. He also caught stunning footage of a herd of wild horses trying their best to escape the fire.

Firefighters were soon in that area as the beautiful animals searched for safety.

No word on if any of those mustangs were hurt. We're told they are part of the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse adoption program.