OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – High winds and dry conditions fueled wildfires across the sooner state, knocked down Christmas decorations and caused a headache for many.
“It’s like what we’re known for. But today, especially, it’s been really wild,” Ayden Haire told KFOR while out at Lake Hefner.
“If I was about three feet smaller, I’d probably be blown away by now,” said Quinn Hale.
“Today had all the ingredients for wildfires to be a problem in our city,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The largest wildfire happened in the panhandle, forcing Guymon residents to evacuate as flames crept too close to town. The State Forestry Service said, so far, approximately 10,000 acres have been burned and one structure has been lost.
“I have been getting a lot of alerts about the fires and stuff,” said Haire.
Back in the metro, OKC fire crews responded to a handful of grass fires. The largest spanned 10-15 acres near Southeast 149th and Harrah. Firefighters were able to get a handle on it before it spread out of control.
“We had approximately six of our units from the Oklahoma City Fire Department here, and we also had assistance from Little Ax Fire Department, who also set a couple of brush pumpers to assist us,” said Fulkerson.
However, the whipping wind wasn’t only stirring flames, it also knocked down decorations across the metro, like the Community Christmas Tree in Mustang. In nearby Yukon, Christmas in the Park was shut down for the day after some displays were knocked loose.
“It’s just crazy to think about this late into December,” said Hale.
Those at Lake Hefner said they were caught off guard.
“It didn’t look this windy when I drove up,” said Anna Engle, who visited the lake for a quick skate. “It was like pushing me and it was great. Then I turned around and it’s like, this is such a bad thing.”
Some told us the wind made it difficult to throw a ball or even take a walk.
“It was real hard for me to walk against the wind and even with the wind because it just kind of pushed me along,” said Pat Bradley.
“It just carries the ball super far and it hurts my throwing accuracy a lot,“ said Hale.
While Oklahoma is known for wind sweeping down the plains, some say this December is unique.
“It is just Okahoma,” said Blake Appleby. “It is very windy, but we’ll have to just take it as it comes.”
“No, I don’t think this is typical. I don’t think this year has been typical,” said Bradley.