WOODWARD COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A fire in Woodward County, burning for more than 48 hours, has scorched nearly 20,000 acres of land.

“It’s a big fire,” said Matt Lehenbauer, the Woodward County Emergency Management Director. “You know, volatile conditions.”

The inferno sparked up late Monday afternoon. According to officials, it spread about 11 miles and at one point came within three miles of the town of Mooreland.

“We’ve had winds, you know, gusts up to 20 to 25 miles an hour,” said Travis Case, the Mooreland Fire Chief. “All of these fires, like you can see over there, when they start swirling, they make their own wind, and they do whatever they want. You can’t control them.”

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A wildfire burning near Mooreland. Image Natalie Clydesdale/KFOR

For about two hours Wednesday, there was an evacuation advisory in place for about 80 homes, but as of 5 p.m., that had been lifted.

“We have lost barns and outbuildings, but fortunately no homes yet,” said Lehenbauer.

The emergency management director also told KFOR that the blazing hot temperatures were a big factor in two firefighters being sent to the hospital.

“They’re working 12-hour shifts in 105-degree temperatures, which is just like if you put a winter coat on and long pants and step out there,” said Lehenbauer.

He added that responders are hoping for rainfall Thursday, but if not:

“It could be a few more days likely, you’re going to have hotspots,” said Lehenbauer. “We’re going to see unless we get a really heavy rain, we will be on this probably through the weekend, I would imagine.”

Investigators say they’re still working to figure out what started the flames and will keep us updated.

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued the following statement regarding the wildfires:

“My prayers go out to the Oklahomans currently battling the devastating fires across parts of our state. Please know, the state is doing everything in its power to support the emergency; including calling the Oklahoma National Guard and working with Congressman Frank Lucas’ office to get out of state resources from the U.S. Forestry Service. While the destruction to the impacted communities is devastating, I am proud to see that the Oklahoma Standard is alive and well through the local support including rural fire departments, and the efforts led by Secretary Blayne Arthur, ODEMHS Director Mark Gower, local legislators, who have provided leadership and assisted in acquiring resources to support those battling the fires. We will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses and take appropriate action as needed.”

Gov. Kevin Stitt

ODEMHS Director Mark Gower also issued a statement, which is as follows:

“This week’s fast-moving wildfire in Woodward County paired with dangerous high temperatures have been difficult for responders, but dozens of fire departments and wildland task forces have answered the call to step in and help and couldn’t be more grateful for their service. This state is also fortunate to have an experienced network of personnel with Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma National Guard members, local emergency managers, and voluntary agencies. We are thankful to Governor Stitt for his quick approval of National Guard air support and for his office’s aid in bringing in the U.S. Forestry Tankers.”

Mark Gower, ODEMHS Director