BLAINE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Blaine County continues to battle the inferno that has already scorched thousands of acres.
Blaine County’s Emergency Management Director, Jim Shelton told KFOR the flames sparked up about four miles west of Hitchcock around 5 p.m. on Thursday and as of Friday evening, spread more than five miles north.
Since then, Blaine County District 2 Commissioner, Brandon Schultz estimated between 8,000 and 9,000 acres of land have been lost to the wildfire.
Of that, Schultz has said he lost about 800 and 900 acres, including a barn that has been in his family for generations.
“We’ve lost some sentimental stuff, a building behind me that’s been up for about 100 years,” said Schultz. “This was my great grandfather’s place.”
Schultz also said he has lost fencing and pasture grass. He was planning to graze his cattle soon, but now has to wait until next spring.
Although frustrated with the push back of his timeline, Schultz said he’s more upset that the barn has burnt down.
“There were a lot of memories here,” he said.
As the flames continue to blacken the land, Noble County Emergency Manager, Jimmy Smith told KFOR his crew has gone through six or seven water tanks just on Monday alone.
“We’ve been out all morning to put out hot spots. It’s been busy,” said Smith.
Noble County, along with other state agencies – including the National Guard, have aided Blaine County in this wildfire since the beginning.
Smith said although the fire has gone down quite a bit compared to when it started, there have been multiple hot spots along State Highway 51A they’re trying to keep from crossing over the road.
One of Smith’s main concerns is the possibility of a record-breaking temperature on Tuesday causing more hot spots.
“There’s always that concern. I hope it’s better tomorrow. It’s obviously better than Friday night,” Smith added.
While Smith and the other fire crews prepare for the heat, OG&E has been repairing power lines throughout the weekend into Monday.
OG&E sent the following statement to KFOR:
“OG&E crews worked over the weekend to restore power and to repair equipment damaged by wildfires in Blaine County. Crews worked under difficult and dangerous conditions to safely replace six broken poles and splice overhead wires. Power was restored to all customers impacted in the Southard, Okeene, Canton, Longdale and Hitchcock area around 2 p.m. last Saturday and all work was completed that night.”Jacqueline Sit, OG&E representative on behalf of OG&E Manager of Corporate Communication, Aaron Cooper.
Fire crews are expecting to be back on scene tomorrow morning.
Schultz wants to extend his gratitude to those fire crews and everyone who has volunteered during this time.