We’re catching up on the news from northwest Oklahoma, where a massive wildfire continues to rage in Woodward County.
Video emerged earlier this week of two KWTV News 9 journalists dramatically rescuing a road grader operator from the flames.
You can see the fire moving closer to the road grader, as the operator rolls it back and forth, trying to free it from a ditch.
“He needs to get out. … He can’t get out. Come on, guy!” Amy Castor tells Val Castor (who happens to be her husband) while they watch the man struggle.
Then, they pull their car forward just as the fire engulfs the grader, and the operator sprints inside.
“My ears just about burned on that one,” Val exclaims as they peel away from the blaze.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Oklahoma Forestry Services says the fire — which they have named 350 Complex — is 20 percent contained and spans 57,440 acres, or nearly 90 square miles. They say arcing power lines started the fire.
The Forestry Service says that on Wednesday afternoon, “four separate fires merged into one large wildfire.” The service plans to conduct a damage assessment today.
Rachel Hubbard of member station KOSU tells our Newscast unit that along with grasslands, the fire has burned several structures.
Multiple smaller fires are also burning around the state, the Forestry Services say.