Wildfire burns roughly 5,000 acres - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wildfire burns roughly 5,000 acres

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

JACKSON COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - A massive wildfire in Jackson county is out Wednesday night, after burning for more than seven hours. 

The fire started along Highway 62, about 5 miles outside of Altus, and quickly spread on both sides of the Salt Fork Red River.

The fire started a construction site and burnt an estimated five-thousand-acre before more than ten crews worked together to get the fire out.

"Once the wind get a hold of it, it was gone. I mean it blew about a mile, mile in a half, in less than 15 to 20 minutes," Altus Fire Chief Kyle Davis said.

Fire officials said it started out as a small fire but quickly spread because of the dry, windy weather. 

Jackson County Emergency Manager, Wayne Cain said besides battling the wind, another difficulty the departments faced was working around the Salt Fork Red River. 

"It was on both sides of the river so it's extremely hard to fight a fire when it's divided on the middle and you can't reach it from the inside," Cain said.

The fire burning on both sides of the river prompted them to call the National Guard for support from above.

"We had five trucks stuck at one time we thought we was going to lose a couple trucks to the fire but we were able to handle that and that's why we knew it was important to get the black hawk here to help out because we knew we couldn't get to a lot of it," Davis said.

Despite challenging terrain, one thing they had on their side was the crews' preparedness and combined efforts to battle the blaze. 

About three years ago they started a task force for situations like these. They meet multiple times a year to talk strategy.

"Given our rural community, it's very important that we work together. Our task force is very cooperative with each other; we help each other a lot. Between all of us together we wouldn't be able to do it. Without all of us working together it would be almost impossible to stop these fires."

Officials are still investigating to find out for sure what started the fire but believe it could have been sparked by construction equipment working on a nearby bridge.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved

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