A wildfire in Guthrie, OK that broke out on Sunday has displaced thousands and killed at least one. According to Guthrie Fire Department Chief Eric Harlow, the fire started on Sunday afternoon and within hours had destroyed between four and six square miles. Due to Monday’s high temperatures and strong winds, the fire continued to burn and is expected to continue at least today and Wednesday.
While the Woodcrest Fire Department has stated the fire began as a controlled burn, there will be an investigation to determine whether there was any criminal activity involved. As of Monday, Harlow attested the fire had burned about 3,000 acres, 30 buildings and killed one man. The fatality could have been prevented, as the victim refused to leave his trailer when the fire approached his home.
37 firefighters have needed treatment for injuries, and one has been shot. Volunteer firefighter Frank Megow was attempting to save a building when he was struck by exploding ammunition from handguns within the home. “As we went to make entry in the structure that’s when the ammunition started cooking off. I took two to the chest and one to the head,” said Megow.
Specialist wildfire teams and Black Hawk helicopters have been enlisted to battle the wildfire, as hot and dry weather conditions are expected to continue for several days. “Fire weather conditions will continue today through Thursday across a large part of western Oklahoma,” said the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Governor Mary Fallin may enact a statewide burn ban, which means setting any fires, including crop fires or campfires, will be prohibited.
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