Medicine Park Wildfire – Situation Update
Alert Message has been issued by the Comanche County, OK Emergency Management.
Friday June 24, 2011 7:02 PM CDT
ADVISORY – LAKE LAWTONKA will be CLOSED to boat traffic on Saturday.
Click link for more info;
Due to active fire fighting in the area and numerous road closures, Lake Lawtonka will be CLOSED to ALL boat activity and recreation on Saturday, June 25 per law enforcement.
For full details, go to NIXLE.com
SITUATION UPDATE 3
4:30pm Friday, June 24
Fire crews continue to battle the grass fire which began on Fort Sill and has caused the evacuation of more than 500 homes in the Medicine Park area , destroying 13. Crews are working desperately to contain several parts of the large fire. Winds and low humidity continue to fuel the fire and cause numerous flare ups. Rough terrain continues to hamper fire crews in their efforts to contain this fire. The fire in and around Medicine Park remains approximately 40 percent contained.
At about 3:30pm, the Fort Sill side of the fire near Lake LETRA, west of Medicine Park, rapidly expanded and jumped the Northern Boundary Road. Fire crews , along with National Guard helicopters, quickly responded to this flare up and are working to contain it and prevent it from jumping Oklahoma 49 west of Medicine Park.
Local, County and Fort Sill officials have set up an Unified Command in response to this incident. Local fire & law enforcement, as well as numerous Fire Task Forces from across southwest Oklahoma, Army personnel, National Guard helicopters and several support agencies continue to fight the fire. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has also responded with their mobile command center to assist with communications, logistics and operations.
County motor graders and bulldozers have been called in to assist.
RESIDENTS REMAIN EVACUATED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Latest assessments show 13 homes (7 trailers & 6 homes) have been destroyed. Several outbuildings (sheds, detached garages, etc) have also been destroyed and an unknown number of homes damaged.
Approximately 4,500 acres TOTAL have burned.
– 4,000 acres on Fort Sill
– 1,500 acres (around Medicine Park).
One (1) minor injury to firefighter (foot)
There are over 500 homes in the Medicine Park area, including Lake Lawtonka and east of Lake Lawtonka which remain evacuated.
An evacuation shelter is set up on Fort Sill at Honeycutt Gym (Ft Sill Blvd & Randolph Rd ) were 20 people stayed overnight. There are currently no residents at the shelter at this time.
– Two (2) National Guard helicopters have been assisting with fire operations since 11am.
– Numerous Fire Task Forces from across the State have been assisting (or requested).
– As of 4pm, there are approximately 60 trucks with over 120 firefighters ACTIVELY fighting the fire.
As of 4pm, The National Weather Service in Norman reported the following; 100+ degrees, winds S 25-30mph, gusts of 40mph. Humidity 20 percent. These conditions should remain the same for the next couple hours.
Cotton Electric reports power has been restored to all members who could safely receive service. We expect to receive calls as residents return to their homes and will have crews ready to respond to any other outages that haven’t been reported by members or our crews.
Current poles lost are up to 11 but we expect this number to increase. We have contract crews in route to replace poles in the more rocky terrain over the weekend.
Agencies assisting with food and hydration include; Great Plains Service Center of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief
ADDITIONAL UPDATES TO FOLLOW AS NEEDED.
From KFOR News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City: