Creek County Wildfire Rages On; Towns Evacuated

Saturday, August 4th 2012, 6:19 pm
By: News On 6

As the town of Mannford is evacuated due to a raging wildfire that has been burning for days, people are lining the highways to get out.

About 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Emergency Alert Systems sent out a mandatory evacuation alert for the city of Mannford in Creek County. About an hour later, a mandatory evacuation alert was issued for the city of Drumright.

8/4/2012 Related Story:  'Largest Wildfire' Ever In Creek County Burning Still

About 6:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of Mannford, the fire jumped to the north side of Oklahoma 51.

The entire perimeter of the fire is difficult to guage, due to the inaccessibilty of roads and inability to reach confirmation from officials who are busy battling one of the largest wildfires in recent memory in Creek County. However, at 8 a.m., officials told News on 6 the Creek County fire was 6 miles wide and 13 miles deep (from State Highway 16 just past Highway 51 and from Highway 48 to Highway 99). Emergency management officials said at that time, the fire had already affected 50,000 acres.

It continuted to rage on all day long, likely tearing through many more acres.

Power outages have been reported throughout the Mannford area due to the fire. A spokesman for the Grand River Dam Authority said the main line feeding Mannford has been damaged, and GRDA is not sure how long that outage will last. GRDA crews are working to get generators to the city to be used at the water plant.

Falling ash is being reported in Sand Springs, Tulsa, Owasso and surrounding areas. Cars, homes and pools are covered in ash in Tulsa, and the western sky is filled with an ashy haze. 

News On 6 Meteorologist Dick Faurot said wind speeds typically die down overnight. At 6 p.m. Saturday they were 10-15 mph. Faurot said wind direction will change direction in the late-night, early-morning hours, from southwest winds to north-northeasterly winds. Tomorrow's wind speeds are predicted to be between 10-20 mph.

Dr. Richard Shaughnessy, the air quality director with the University of Tulsa, told News On 6 the air quality is 8 to 10 times worse than normal from the smoke and ash over the Tulsa metro. Kids and adults with asthma or respiratory problems should stay indoors, he said.

8/4/2012 Related Story: Creek County Residents Flee From Wildfires

Conditions in Oklahoma are so dire, a burn ban for all 77 counties was enacted by Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday.

Saturday afternoon, Emergency Management officials told News On 6 there were 13 active fires in the state of Oklahoma and by 3 p.m., 131 structures had been lost and 30 of those were in Creek County.

8/4/12 Related Story: Fire Blazes Trail Through Rural Pawnee County

A separate fire flared in neighboring Pawnee County Saturday afternoon. Crews working the Mannford fire were called out about 4 miles west of Jennings.

Officials in Jennings began mandatory evacuation is underway. It includes Jennings township, west and north of Jennings and parts of the Hallett area.



News On 6 is constantly trying to obtain and confirm information. We will update immediately when details are confirmed. You can also follow us on Facebook.