More than 29,000 acres scorched in Beaver County


BEAVER, Okla. (KFOR) – More than 29,000 acres have burned in Beaver County as crews worked in near blackout conditions to put out flames fanned by gale force winds.

The scene was scary Saturday night in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

“The fire behavior has been pretty extreme, really fast rates of spread,” said Don Cook of the Oklahoma Forestry Service.

Officials say around 10 a.m. Saturday morning flames kicked up, and winds kept the fire growing most of the day.

“We would get an area put out but then the wind would cause it to break back out, so it was just a continuous fight,” said Keith Shadden of Beaver County Emergency Management.

“Winds and the dry fuel, it’s hard to keep the fire out. It keeps reigniting behind our efforts,” said Cook.

Parts of the town of Beaver were evacuated.

Officials say seven houses and several larger buildings were destroyed and countless others were damaged.

With thick smoke still in the air, firefighters had to double back Sunday on some of the buildings.

“The structures that burned yesterday, some of them have flared up as well.” said Shadden.

The town of Forgan was evacuated on Saturday as a precaution.

Thankfully, there were no injuries reported.

Light rain helped firefighters continue to put down the blaze Sunday afternoon.

Over 200 vehicles and close to 500 firefighters converged on the blazes from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.

“Everybody has been real good to work with and just glad we could be out here,” said Cook.

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