Multiple dozens of structures, including homes, were lost Friday afternoon and there was nothing anyone could do. Even firefighters had to watch the destruction take place.
Perfect weather conditions – as forecasted – hit Logan County at around 2 p.m. with a report of a trailer house fire near Bryant and Simpson. From there the fire quickly spread to the east across Interstate 35.
“The whole world seemed to be on fire,” Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said at the command center located at Community Church.
Harlow states there are no fatalities being reported. One firefighter was treated for a dislocated kneecap, while others needed IV fluids for minor heat exhaustion.
“Logan County, unfortunately, is no stranger to massive wildfires,” Harlow said. “We have such a densely populated rural area. We have heavy trees and brushy areas which become hard to fight brush fires when they move as quickly as they did today.”
Winds were sustained in the mid-’40s with gusts up to over 60 mph.
The fires continued overnight and into the morning.
Harlow says it will take 2-3 days for fire crews to extinguish all the flames due to the number of structures burning and rekindling.
Fire task forces from across the state joined Logan County fire departments and came to the fire with some task force remaining on the scene Saturday morning.
With the wildfires blowing smoke across the highway and flames jumping into the median grass and eventually across the highway and causing more damage, Interstate 35 traffic was closed off for several hours causing travel issues on the side roads.
The interstate was reopened at 7:43 p.m.
Guthrie Public Schools were forced to hold students after school due to the fires and congested roadways. Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said the final student arrived home safely at around 7:30 p.m.
Nearly 3,000 OG&E customers were without power at one point and many others remain without home internet.
Attention Logan County Residents of the Simpson Fire
If you are a Logan County Resident and you lost your home or an outbuilding in the Fire that started on March 31, 2023, please email the address of the location of where the structure was located the approximate square footage your legal name owner that’s on your property records tax statement and a good phone number. If an outbuilding is on the property that does not have a 911 address please give good directions to the property.
Please email the info by midnight on April 2, due to damage assessment teams in the area beginning Monday.
Please email the above information to Emergency Manager Steven HAGA