Update: Crews battle grass fire in northeast Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It was a busy Wednesday for firefighters across the metro, as strong winds and dry conditions fueled fires that sparked.

Just before 5 p.m., crews were called to a wooded area near I-35 and Wilshire Blvd. on a wildfire.

Firefighters are still investigating the cause but said it could have been started by a cigarette or powerline.

Flames had already consumed at least 15 acres, and crews tried to stop it from crossing a paved road.

If the fire jumped the road, officials said homes could have been threatened.

"This one's pretty close for comfort. You know, I used to be on a fire department, and they were always far from home, and now they're right here in your backyard,"  said Don Pack.

The fire also devoured cedar trees, which just added more fuel to the flames.

The flames stretched far over the tree tops and engulfed a billboard.

Oklahoma City crews were on the scene and worked to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures.

However, firefighters couldn't bring their bush pumper trucks off the paved road, because the ground was too soft.

Heavy smoke was seen for miles, and drivers in the area were encouraged to use caution.

Around 5:20 p.m., emergency crews closed southbound I-35, just north of Wilshire Blvd.

Troopers said they let traffic through the area when able to, but they kept having to close the interstate because of the heavy smoke.

Low visibility made for a dangerous situation.

"First, I drove up there, and it looked like the fire was about to jump the road. I started getting ashes on my car, so I came back down here," Pack said.

Despite the powerful wind, within an hour, crews were able to knock the fire out.

"We kind of got a little big lucky with wind direction and also having the service road, I -35 on there. We used the roads that we had to use as a fire block," said Battalion Chief Thomas Thurm with Oklahoma City Fire.

About 15 acres and a billboard are now left charred, but firefighters are thankful no one was hurt and hope this reminds we can help prevent these types of fires.

"Clear out around your houses. Clear out around your businesses and really, if we're smoking, anything like that, please be careful," Thurm said.

No homes were evacuated during the fire.


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