- Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:52
Daily Elk Citian
Five Elk City firefighters including Chief Rick Shelton are near Cooperton, Okla., helping a statewide battalion of emergency crews stop a 15-square-mile blaze.
Beckham County Emergency Management Director Lonnie Risenhoover is with Elk City, Sayre and Foss firefighters in that area south of Cooperton and just east of State Highway 54.
"It's broke through some of the mountains and it's coming on the northeast side," he said, adding that the command center is sending more crews to battle that part of the fire.
The Elk City firefighters left town this morning with a brush pumper and water tanker. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management requested their presence in Kiowa County, where they joined firefighters from across the state.
"There's Nichols Hills, OKC," said Risenhoover. "They're just from everywhere."
The Associated Press reports that fire crews have the fire 75 percent contained.
Comanche County Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jacob Russell said in an email that crews from 15 fire departments had controlled the south and west sides of the blaze, and are focusing their efforts on preventing the flames on the north and east sides from spreading into the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
Officials have said the fire is about 1 mile long and 15 miles wide.
Seventy-five to 100 homes were evacuated after the blaze began Wednesday near Cooperton, which is in Kiowa County.
Russell says several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion and released, but there have been no other injuries reported.
Cooperton is about 68 miles southeast of Elk City.