Residents in Beaver and Forgan, Oklahoma were urged to evacuate when a quick-moving wildfire ignited on Saturday.
The National Weather Service in Amarillo detected a hot spot around 10 a.m., Saturday on Fire Temperature satellite imagery, and tweeted it asking people to avoid the area.
“The town of Beaver is being evacuated at this time. The fire has reached the SW edge of town. Structures are on fire and the HS football field as burned. Fire Departments from Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas are on scene,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Cody Rehder said in a tweet on Saturday.
Strong winds quickly fanned the flames of the fire toward Forgan, Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma Emergency Management is conducting damage assessment. Crews continue to improve control lines, mopping up and suppressing hot spots,” the Oklahoma Forestry Services reported on their Facebook Page on Sunday. The fire is currently 50% contained, accounting for 29,120 acres.
The fire was “under control” as of 4 a.m., Sunday, Meade County Kansas Emergency Management (MCEM) reported.
“Many weather stations surrounding the area, from the northern Texas Panhandle, across the Oklahoma panhandle and into southwest Kansas, began reporting wind gusts of 25-35 mph during the late-morning hours,” Meteorologist Jake Sojda said.
These continued to increase into the early afternoon hours, according to Sojda, peaking around 40-45 mph during the early afternoon before gradually subsiding into the evening
“Temperatures in the low 70s and dew points in the low 30s led to very low relative humidity. Add in the ample dry grasses and brush from the winter and gusty winds this led to very favorable conditions for a rapidly spreading fire,” Sojda said.