Osage County first responders battle 8,000 acre fire

Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-03 23:11:46-05

HOMINY, Okla. -- Dozens of firefighters battle an 8,000 acre grass fire off Highway 20 in Osage County.

The characteristics of this fire are startling. The flames quickly spread over thousands of acres, jumping nearly 260 feet every minute, according to Osage County Emergency Management.

"We tried driving down one of the roads and the fire just jumped immediately to the road and we had to back out and leave and we couldn't get close," said Sabrina Edwards, who lives about 20 minutes away from the fire.

Edwards and her friend Raeann Crank kicked it into high gear to help keep the flames from traveling up to the road.

"It don’t bother me none i’ll just go over there and it don’t bother me," said Crank.

In this case, their boots were made for stomping.

"I’ll do that here I ain't scared," said Crank.

Ten fire departments plus Osage County Emergency Management exhausted all efforts and called in two helicopters to dump water to help combat the flames.

"There’s a lot of us, this thing got out of hand pretty fast," said Assistant Fire Chief Josh Steadman with the Prue fire department.

The enemies -- high winds and low humidity.

Orange bursts of flames spread as far as the eye can see.

"I’ve seen everything from dead coyotes on fire to hay bales," said Assistant Fire Chief Steadman.

One of the techniques firefighters are using to combat these intense flames is back burning, where they burn unused fuel to kill the fire and using the wind to their advantage.

"It lets us speed things up so we’re able to fight the fire and get out a little quicker," said Assistant Fire Chief Steadman.

Even though firefighters are expected to be out all night.

"If they don’t get this under control and it goes into night they’re fighting it through the night they just need some people that could kind of help out," Edwards.

Hominy police passed out sandwiches to first responders. Emergency management dished out water to keep crews hydrated.

"It’s a big family, we’re all a big family out here," said Assistant Fire Chief Steadman.

Firefighters were able to make sure flames did not reach any buildings or homes in the area.


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