Up To 21 Homes Destroyed In Oklahoma City Wildfire, Hundreds Forced To Evacuate

Written by Michael Lambarde on Sep. 01, 2011

Officials say that a Oklahoma City wildfire burned down more than a dozen of homes, destroyed a church and caused hundreds of people to evacuate. Marc Woodard, a Deputy Fire Chief, says that the fires were intensified by a dangerous heat wive and a drought. More than 3,000 acres were burnt down and buildings were still being brought down to their foundation in northeast Oklahoma City as of Wednesday.

Rev. Johnny Moore of the Harrison Bethel Baptist Church, which was burnt down at the early hours of Wednesday morning, said that “you’re kind of numb” in a situation like this. “Yet you have the assurance that God is going to walk us through and that we’re going to be all right, but at this point, I’m still somewhat numb because of the fire,” he added.

Oklahoma Air National Guard helicopters were requested by Oklahoma City officials on Wednesday. Not only did many buildings flare-up, but one firefighter was treated for minor burns while another was taken to a hospital after he complained of chest pains.

Woodard says that a flyover on Wednesday revealed that 21 homes were destroyed on the city’s outskirts. The Red Cross set up an overnight shelter for families that had to evacuate their homes. Homes and businesses in the surrounding area lost power due to the wildfire, officials report. The wildfire began on Tuesday and was mostly contained thereafter.

It was not only Okalahoma that was a victim of the wildfires. At least 25 homes were destroyed in a Texas wildfire with 125 more threatened. About 7,500 acres had burned in Palo Pinto County, according to John Nichols, a Forest Service spokesman.

The fire about 50 miles west of Dallas-Fort Worth began early Tuesday, which like Oklahoma, started due to severe drought conditions. According to CNN, this is the worst fire season in the history of the state. Since the start of the season, at least 3.5 million acres have been burned down.