Field representatives with the Oklahoma County Assessors office are out surveying the fire damage today. Check out this link to their work.
- Paul Monies
Farmer Rodney Harmon searched for missing cattle Friday morning on his land north of Lindsay. He owns about 410 acres and ge lost his barn and an antique grain truck in the fire. He was looking for seven cows, four calves and a bull.
“I’m depending on those calves to make a payment at the bank,” he said.
Even if he finds them, there isn’t any grass left for them to eat.
- Jennifer Griswold
At least a dozen houses have burned east of Lake Stanley Draper. The burned area includes the land between SE 119 to SE 149 and Hiawassee and Anderson Roads. The fire has started to pick up again just north of SE 149. People are milling around, watching the fire and waiting to be given the clear to go back to their homes.
- Vallery Brown
Kenneth Wertz dig through the remains of his house of more than 40 years as he looks for a few salvageable remains from the house that was destroyed by wildfires in Choctaw.
A burned out truck sits in the drive way of a house destroyed by wildfires near Reno Avenue and Hiawassee Road in Midwest City.
- Photographer Chris Landsberger
In Carter County, firefighters continued to fight fires through the day. North of Ardmore firefighters battled a fire that threatened three homes Friday morning, said Ed Reed, Carter County emergency management director.
“They’ve got brush pumpers out there and they’re trying to protect those structures,” Reed said.
- Julie Bisbee
Chandler Emergency Management Director Larry Hicks said he worked at the command center until midnight last night. Hicks was able to confirm that two mobile homes were destroyed.
“I’ve been in this business for 35 years and I’ve seen a lot of years where we had major fires, but I’ve never seen a day where we had so many at the same time so close together,” Hicks said. “It stretched all of our resources that we almost didn’t have enough to fight the fires in Lincoln County.”
- John Williams
The fire line stretched more than 3 miles last night in Grady County, said Dale Thompson, the Grady County emergency management director.
Three homes in the community of Acme were lost, and five more burned north of Bradley on the Grady/McClain county line. Another structure was lost in Pocasset.
“At one point all 18 fire departments in Grady County were out fighting fires at the same time last night,” Thompson said. “I registered eight-percent humidity, and that’s just way too dangerous for us.”
- Ron Jackson
Officials in the town of Velma posted a notice about evacuations and water safety:
URGENT NOTICE: Due to the wildfires and dangerous conditions incoming traffic is being restricted and all persons must report in at the Velma Town Hall. Town of Velma residents must boil any water before consumption due to contaminants. For further instructions Town of Velma Employees can be reached at (580) 444-3393 . Until Further Notice Velma Residents are asked to seek shelter outside of the area.
Arter Darryl’s grandmother doesn’t know her property burned Thursday north of Lindsay. The 89-year-old Alzheimer’s patient lives in a hospital, and so the family likely won’t tell her about the loss.
“She won’t know any of what happened, thank goodness,” he said.
Wildfires climbed up the hill where Saundra Vinson lives, but the flames stopped at her fence. But the land she and her brother inherited from their parents burned. They lost two homes on that property and everything inside.
“I can’t believe that everything is gone,” she said. “At least no one was hurt. I’m just thankful.”
Vinson and her brother, Bill Sitton, use the homes for storage, and they’ve kept mementoes from their parents there, Sitton said. One of their most treasured items: the old piano their mother played.
“I can’t believe this,” he said. “I’ve fought grass fires all my life around here. I’ve never seen nothing like this.”
- Jennifer Griswold
The Salvation Army has sent mobile relief canteens to provide food and snacks to firefighters and other first responders and “anyone else who needs it,” spokeswoman Heidi Brandes said this morning.
Brandes said canteens and volunteers are at several cities and towns in Oklahoma and are also on their way to Mena, Ark., where three people were killed Thursday night by a tornado.
Canteens are set up in Lawton, Ratliff City, Comanche, Ardmore, Midwest City, Stillwater and Cleveland County, Brandes said.
Already-exhausted firefighters are still putting out hot spots and watching for rekindles in many communities, Brandes said.
Three mobile units and 20 volunteers are headed to Arkansas, Brandes said.
- Robert Medley