Neighbors southwest and west of Mannford are being evacuated firefighters continue to battle a massive wildfire burning since Thursday. It has burned over 32 thousand acres. Oklahoma Emergency Management officials say at least 40 structures, including homes, outbuildings and barns, have been destroyed. The exact number of homes lost is not yet known, and officials say they will not know until the fire is contained. Roads and highways in the area remain closed.
A Red Cross shelter has been relocated to First Methodist Church in Sand Springs, 101 W. 38th Street. 38 people stayed overnight in a shelter in Mannford.
Creek County officials say 21 fire companies continue to battle and try to contain the blaze which is still burning Saturday. Oklahoma Highway Patrol says another large area is burning near Drumright.
Outmatched on the ground, Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Guard helicopters took to the sky to try to douse the flames. But, it wasn't enough.
"My sons trying to be heroes, I don't blame them, went up there trying to fight fires," said Creek County resident, Daniel Hyde.
Fear took over for Hyde and his wife Marta. They didn't know if their sons would make it. The adult sons, both of whom served in the Army, tried to save the family home from the flames. When FOX23 caught up with the Hydes they didn't even know if their sons had made it to the house.
"I was frantic," said Marta. "I got on the phone with them telling them to get out of there."
As they watched the flames gobble other homes, her sons didn't want to see sixteen years of their parents' hard work burned to the ground.
"It's so dangerous. The fire, it's right over there," said Marta. 100 yards away from the house, which pushed closer to our news crew, forcing us back.
"The house is going to be a total loss," said Daniel.
"I just wanted to get my kids out of there because they're all I got," said Marta.
Turns out, the Hydes' sons made it out okay.
However, for firefighters fighting to keep other homes from burning, this summer has been excruciating.
"The guys have worked extremely hard but it's Mother Nature working against us," said firefighter Joe Kile, who suffered first degree burns on his arm. "We saved a structure over there but the temperatures were unbelievable. That's how the boy with me burned his eyes."
Both Kile and the other man are now getting medical treatment. This is the fifth fire Kile says he's fought in Creek County in recent weeks.
"It's killing these firemen," said Kile. "They've been on fires for the last three weeks, just almost every day."
The Turnpike Authority opened all lanes of the Turner Turnpike between Tulsa and Oklahoma City around 4:30pm Saturday, but have closed and opened it several times throughout the day due to smoke hazards.
The following roads remain closed:
Several highways in Creek County: · SH-33 between SH-48 and SH-99, from Drumright to approx. 11 miles to the east. · SH-51 between SH-48 and SH-99, from two miles west of Mannford to approximately 9 miles to the west. · SH-99 between SH-51 and SH-33, from 9 miles west of Mannford and south six miles. · SH-48 between SH-51 and SH-33, from two miles west of Mannford, south 9 miles. · Suggested alternate routes include SH-48 and SH-16 south of SH-33 and SH-48 and US-64 and SH-99 north of SH-51. SH-9 east of Norman currently closed
Both east and westbound lanes of SH-9 are closed
between E. 84th Ave. and E. 168th Ave. east of Norman until further notice due
to fires. Drivers must locate alternate route or use US-77 and