Grass Fires Spread Across Green Country

Saturday, January 18th 2014, 6:41 pm
By: News On 6

Grass fires lit up across Green Country on Saturday, marking the second straight weekend that kept firefighters scrambling.

Thick smoke forced the brief closure of State Highway 20. Fire crews were working a grass fire on the north end of the highway about four miles west of Skiatook in Osage County.

Police pushed back the roadblock because of the thick smoke and high winds. About 5 p.m., drivers were being turned away near Lake Road. By 6 p.m., all lanes were reopened.

Read Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Drought, Fire Danger to Continue

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said there are reports that firefighters are working to contain the blaze near 116th West Avenue.

"Even though it's not going east of 116th West Avenue, the wind is blowing the smoke west and south across the roadway it just making it extremely dangerous," trooper Terry Shiever said.

Residents are on high alert, simply at the mercy of the Oklahoma gusts.

"Just hoping it doesn't jump Highway 20," resident Jon Womack said. "It's really dry, so I don't know what we're going to do at this point."

Another blaze spread across the county near Avant, completely engulfing a home and destroying it.

In Sapulpa, one home was damaged and an entire hillside lit up, sending firefighters from across town to put out the fire.

"Black smoke -- you could hardly see," Sapulpa resident Neta Ridgway said.

The Sapulpa Fire Department said the fire started in the back yard of a Sapulpa residence.

No one was hurt, and the homeowners were away at the time of the fire.

"We probably had 10 houses (threatened)... been busy," SFD's Steve Fleak said.