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Firefighters extinguish damaging Grady Co. fracking fire

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GRADY COUNTY, Okla. -- A fire at a hydrofracking well has likely left behind more than $20 million in damage, burning for hours before firefighters could finally extinguish the flames.

"It was a very hot fire, a very intense fire, it continued to grow," said incident commander Buddy Myers. "The fuel load had the potential to be tremendous with the vehicles that were on the side."

Shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, emergency crews were called to State Hwy 39 and County Rd. 2910 for the fire, which Myers estimates consumed 22 oil tankers and other equipment on site.

The fire departments took a "defensive" approach, Myers said, to protect the public and the property.  That approach likely prevented additional losses of at least $20 million dollars, he said.

The site belonged to Continental Resources, which said in a statement that the well had been shut in and "all crews have been accounted for and are safe."  Several other contractors had equipment on the premises.

Troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were forced to shut down all lanes of traffic from County Rd. 2940, west to U.S. 62 after smoke crossed the roadway.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen miles away from the site.

Myers says six fire departments lent a hand fighting the flames.

A view from Bob Moore Chopper 4 shows that several trucks and other pieces of equipment have been destroyed by the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.