Sapulpa Grass Fire Contained After Evacuations

Tuesday, August 2nd 2011, 4:05 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6 and

SALPULPA, Oklahoma -- A grass fire burning near Sapulpa is finally contained after it threatened several structures and prompted an evacuation of a nearby homes.

The fire started around noon Tuesday in a field near 8500 South 81st West Avenue. The same field where an earlier fire burned several acres.

A resident of a nearby mobile home park told News On 6 that she and her neighbors were asked to evacuate as the fire encroached near their property.

Steve Harmon owns three newly remodeled houses on a stretch of 81st west avenue.

"To think we were just that close to losing all three of them that quick. Dogs, people, we got them out of here, but just couldn't see it go," Harmon said.

Most of the residents voluntarily evacuated, but Harmon had too much invested and stayed to hose down the houses.

"Just about the time I looked up, there was a spray coming from this way and a spray coming from that way and it was those guys. They sprayed in on me and we got it," he said.

His neighbor, Paul Wickham, sent his family away while he watered his home, too.

"I don't care to lose my house. It's not much, but it's mine," Wickham said.

The fire spread to a grass patch between Highway 66 and the Turner Turnpike. Drivers slowed as the thick smoke crept across the highway.

Sheds and storage buildings burned up, but the Sapulpa Fire Chief says he doesn't believe any homes were lost.

A Blackhawk helicopter dropped water on hotspots, but Harmon fears the fight may not be over.

"We'll all be hanging around the backyard tonight with our garden hoses, just keeping an eye," Harmon said.

No civilian injuries were reported, but one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. Cooling stations were set up at area churches.

Firefighters believe that the previous fire may have sparked this one.

Crews from Sapulpa, Glenpool and numerous other departments helped in the fire fighting efforts.