Mannford Area Fire Still Burning
Fire crews are working to contain the Mannford-area fire that started Thursday afternoon.
"It's been a struggle all night long," Creek County Commissioner Newt Stephens said on Saturday.
Stephens stated that roughly 50,000 acres burned.
The fire burned 13 miles east-west from Highway 99 in the Drumright area to Highway 48 in the Mannford area, and it burned 16 miles north-south from Highway 51 in the Mannford area to Highway 16 near the Bristow area.
He said that crews were hopeful the fire would be contained before it crossed the Cimarron River south into Okfuskee County.
So far, there have been no reports of injuries.
Stephens said that "quite a few structures" were lost, though he was uncertain exactly how many homes had been destroyed.
Fire crews' main concern was heavy winds blowing embers to new areas.
Stevens had been working since 7:00 p.m. Friday.
"Cedar trees looked like dynamite going off," he said.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), the following highways are currently closed in Creek County:SH-33 between SH-48 and SH-99, from Drumright to approximately 11 miles to the east.SH-51 between SH-48 and SH-99, from two miles west of Mannford to approximately nine miles to the west.SH-99 between SH-51 and SH-33, from nine miles west of Mannford and south six miles.SH-48 between SH-51 and SH-33, from two miles west of Mannford, south nine miles.
Suggested alternate routes include SH-48 and SH-16 south of SH-33, as well as SH-48 and US-64 and SH-99 north of SH-51.
By 3:00 p.m. Saturday, westbound lanes of the Turner Turnpike were closed from Tulsa to Bristow due to the grass fire moving further west.
According to Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesperson Jack Damrill, the lanes opened back up at 4:50 p.m. Saturday.
Sapulpa Dispatch confirmed for KTUL.com that crews began were fighting a fire at South 49th West Avenue and 131st Street South in Sapulpa.
Viewers throughout the Tulsa metropolitan area reported ashes falling in their yards Saturday afternoon.
Red Cross representative Donita Quesnel reported that 38 people stayed in a Mannford shelter Friday night.
As of 3:44 p.m. Saturday, Mannford residents lost power.
The National Weather Service in Tulsa issued a Fire Warning at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for western sections of Mannford and surrounding areas, as well as Drumright in western Creek County.
Mannford evacuees were directed to the to the First Methodist Church at 101 West 38th Street in Sand Springs.
Word of Life Church's Youth Center, Depot, at 10th Street and Adams Road in Sand Springs also opened its doors to evacuees.
Drumright evacuees were directed to the Cushing Community and Youth Center at 700 South Little in Cushing.
Additional shelters in Tulsa have opened:Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 East 4th StreetMuscogee (Creek) Nation's Tulsa Indian Community Center, 8611 South Union Muscogee (Creek) Nation's Sapulpa Indian Community Center, 1020 North Brown
As of 4:45 p.m., the leading edge of the fire was approaching western Mannford and was expected to continue advancing to the northeast.
The Drumright Police Department closed Highway 33 from their golf course to the truck route overpass just before 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
Additionally, the community of Oak Grove was evacuated at 8:00 p.m. Saturday.
This is still a developing story.
If members of the public need to report new fires, they should call 911 or Creek County Dispatch at 918-224-4964.