Nearly 1,000 acres burn in biggest grass fire Craig County has seen in years, says emergency manager

TULSA - About 1,000 acres burned Thursday in the biggest wildfire Craig County has seen in years, but the flames are now under control, according to the emergency manager.

Morris Bluejacket says much of the fire has burned in a heavily wooded area where the wind -- the biggest concern at this point -- continues to spread the fire and re-ignite the land.

At one point the fire stretched more than three miles near Highways 66 and 60 near White Oak.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers temporarily closed both lanes of US 60 at County Road 4330 between Vinita and Nowata but the highway was reopened around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Oklahoma Department of Forestry responded with bulldozers because fire trucks were unable to reach the area.

The bulldozers are used to plow a fire break, taking down a line of timber to dirt and a ground crew from Delaware County assisted.

Bluejacket said the grass fire started around 9 a.m. Thursday but county officials don't know how.

In the hours after, about 10 volunteer fire departments battled the flames, including Mayes, Craig and Rogers counties.

While several homes were threatened, officials don't believe any burned.

Alice Nall lives in a trailer home right off Highway 60 between Whiteoak and Bunker Hill. The fire was just across the highway from her home Thursday afternoon.

After watching the flames inch closer with every gust of wind, Nall said she started packing her vehicle with items, preparing to evacuate.

"Just waiting, waiting to go," said Nall.  "... kinda helpless."

Nall said she would watch the fire as long as she could, expecting firefighters to work through the night monitoring hotspots.

"These firefighters won't stop for nothing ... they know, they know what's at stake," she said.

No evacuations were ordered.

As the lack of rain, high winds and low humidity continue, the fire danger remained high Thursday.

Over the past few days, grass fires have popped up across the state, some threatening structures and livestock.

Burn bans are in effect all across Green Country, including in Creek, Rogers and Okmulgee counties.

Under the bans, charcoal fires are prohibited, as are trash fires, campfires and burn pit-type fires.

A complete list of burn bans is available on the Oklahoma Forestry Service website.

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