High Winds Push Grass Fires Across Pawnee and Payne Counties

Firefighters from 16 departments struggled to contain a large grass fire most of the afternoon and night of Tuesday.

The blaze took place near the border of Payne and Pawnee counties north of Yale, OK. Due to high winds, it spread to cover about 16 square miles.

It is still burning and firefighters are having a hard time reaching it in deep canyons, said Jeff Kuhn, Payne County Emergency Manager. High winds are also posing a major challenge.

Kuhn told KTUL that the behavior of the fire changed dramatically in the evening when the winds picked up to about 40 miles per hour and switched from a south wind to a northwest wind. At that time, extra crews were called in due to the possibility of the threat the fire presented to Yale.

Several houses were threatened but were not damaged. No injuries were reported.

Responding fire departments reportedly included Yale, Glen Cove, Pawnee, Pawnee Nation, Maramec, Cushing, Jennings, Stillwater, Morrison, Marland, Red Rock, Perry, Lucein, Rock Township Rural, Ingalls and Ripley.