Grass fire forces evacuations in southwestern Oklahoma

December 11, 2021 GMT

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — A grass fire in southwestern Oklahoma that forced evacuations was about 95 percent contained by Friday evening, emergency officials said.

There were no reported deaths or injuries due to the fire near Lawton, which burned about 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers), according to Comanche County Emergency Management spokesperson Amy Hawkins. Hawkins said it wan’t known how many people had been forced to flee.

Some roadways in the area were also closed due to smoke, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Hawkins said they don’t yet have an estimate on the number of structures damaged.

The cause of the blaze was also unknown, Hawkins said.

“We probably won’t know what started it, it could be something as simple as someone throwing out a cigarette butt,” Hawkins said.

Winds were gusting to 25 mph (40 kph) in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service had issued a warning that weather conditions in the area were producing an increased risk of fire danger.