BEAVER COUNTY, Okla. (KSNW) – Fire crews from three states are working to put out a fire in Beaver, Oklahoma, dubbed the “412 Fire.”
Residents in Beaver and Forgan, Okla., were advised to evacuate their homes Saturday, according to the US National Weather Service Amarillo, Texas. The wildfire sparked just before 1 p.m. on Saturday.
As of 10 a.m. Sunday, a pair of agencies involved in fighting the fire reported conflicting information, but both report the fire is still burning.
Shortly after 9 a.m., Meade County Kansas Emergency Management (MCEM) reported the 412 Fire was “under control” as of 4 a.m. Sunday, after 16 hours of burning.
MCEM said smoldering and burning had been contained to “black areas.” Air National Guard dispatched to the fire remains at the staging area with the Kansas Forest Service monitoring the remaining fire.
Several wildfire strike teams are on scene or headed to the scene to assist. Fire crews who worked through the day and night have mostly been relieved, according to Meade County.
About 30 minutes later, the Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) reported the 412 Fire is only 10 percent contained.
“The 412 Fire is currently 10% contained and is estimated to be 13,000 acres. Resources remained overnight and will be working in unified command with numerous fire departments and agency personnel on this fire throughout the day.”
The OFS said rain chances will help the fight, but “going fires from yesterday will remain active.”
KSN has attempted to contact both agencies for clarification, but neither has answered our calls.
The OFS says the fire has burned more than 13,000 acres as of 9 p.m. Saturday and several structures have been damaged.
Beaver resident Don Jenkins tells KSN’s Hunter Funk he witnessed several homes burn.
“They (firefighters) were watering down anything and everything, but I know of at least 3 or 4 homes, what I know of,” Jenkins said. “I’ve seen them because I sneak out there a little bit, and they’re burnt to the ground.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol captured photos of several structures on fire and smoke blanketing Beaver’s community.
At this time we know of no injuries, but the fire weather conditions are not letting up. KSN Storm Track 3 Meteorologist Taylor Cox says wind speeds will maintain in the 20-25 mph range Sunday with gusts in the mid-40s. Rain is forecast for the area, but Beaver County is not expected to get more than 0.17 inches of rain, Cox says.
The OFS is leading the fight with assistance from Kansas Forest Service, Tanker 95, multiple Kansas and Texas volunteer fire departments and the Clark County Wildland Fire Task Force. In addition to the support of resources on scene, the 7 County Wildland Fire Task Force is in Meade County Kansas to provide fire response coverage while local fire departments assist with the 412 Fire.
A volunteer fire crew from Mobeetie, Texas, published a dramatic video showing the exhaustive effort to put down the flames.
“It is through partnerships we establish before a wildfire starts that we are able to provide mutual aid when the need arises,” said State Fire Management Officer Mark Neely.
The smoke plumes Saturday were visible miles from Beaver, even detected on the KSN Storm Track 3 radar in Garden City, showing the smoke climbing toward Dodge City early Saturday evening.
The Oklahoma Forestry Service re-iterated the NWS’s warning that residents in Beaver and Forgan, Okla., should evacuate the area and get somewhere safe.