Northeastern Oklahoma communities evacuated because of raging wildfires

MANNFORD, Okla. - Thousands of Oklahoma residents have abandoned their homes after being ordered to evacuate because of raging wildfires.

Residents in parts of Creek and Payne Counties were ordered to evacuate around 5 p.m. and additional evacuation orders have been added.

Mannford, Drumright and the small community of Oak Grove have all been evacuated. 

A large fire continues to burn out of control in northern Creek County near where State Highway 51, State Highway 48 and West 31st Street meet about a mile and half southwest of Mannford.

Officials say the leading edge of the fire is approaching western Mannford and is expected to continue moving northeast.  Currently, the fire is about 6 miles wide and 13 miles deep.

The Tulsa Police Department has deployed their disaster response team along with a squad to assist with evacuations.

The fires have cut power to both Mannford and Drumright and communities across Green Country, including south Tulsa, Bixby, Okmulgee and Kellyville, have reported power outages .

A handful of shelters have opened for those fleeing their homes.

Shelters for Mannford residents have been opened at Word of Life Church near 10th and Adams Road in Sand Springs and United Methodist Church at 101 W. 38th St. in Sand Springs.  Also, Drumright residents are evacuating to the Cushing Senior Center at 203 E. Cherry.

The Tulsa Regional Red Cross is currently operating two shelters -- one at the Sand Springs United Methodist Church and another in Pawnee at the First United Methodist Church, located at 800 6th St.

In Tulsa, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center is open to take wildfire evacuees.  They are a equipped with large space, kitchen, water, food and Internet connections and they say they will also accept pets.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals is helping wildfire evacuees who need food and temporary shelter for their pets.  Call the organization at (918) 742-3700 or (918) 625-8188.  They have an organization of veterinarians and volunteers ready to help with fostering dogs, cats, horses, guineas, goats and bird.  For more information, visit www.animalallianceok.org .

The Salvation Army Area Command in Tulsa is accepting donations of water and hydrating beverages for those affected by the fire.  The center, located at 924 S. Hudson, is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dozens of fire departments have responded and a number of state agencies as well as two National Guard helicopters have assisted with fire containment.

About 40 homes were destroyed Friday and even more were engulfed Saturday, said Creek County Commissioner Newt Stephens.  Official numbers for the homes lost have not been released yet.

In addition to the evacuations, several roadways are closed because of grass fires in Creek County, Payne and Lincoln Counties, according to ODOT officials.

  • State Highway 33 is closed between Highway 48 and Highway 99.
  • State Highway 51 is closed between Highway 48 and Highway 99.
  • State Highway 99 is closed between Highway 51 and Highway 33.
  • State Highway 48 is closed between Highway 51 and Highway 33.
  • State Highway 33 from State Highway 99 into Drumright.
  • State Highway 99 South from State Highway 33 to Stroud.
  • State Highway 33 East from Cushing east to Drumright.

Currently, the Turner Turnpike is open; however, a wind shift could limit visibility and create a hazard, forcing officials to re-close the turnpike.  The Cimarron Turnpike, which had closed earlier, has been reopened.

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