The cause of the fire that burned 1,211 acres of land along the Salt Fork of the Red River just off U.S. 62 Wednesday has been identified.
Construction workers repairing the eastbound portion of U.S. 6 admitted causing the fire when a spark from a cut-off saw ignited the area just north of the highway, according to Jackson County Emergency Manager Wayne Cain.
Emergency services responded to the fire Wednesday about noon and continued to fight the blaze into the evening until being released from the site about 7 p.m.
The blaze started at U.S. 62 and stretched roughly four miles to the north of the highway along the river’s path. Homeowners in the area were notified of the fire and the potential risk of damage.
The fire, which started along the river’s edge, jumped to both the east and west banks, according to City of Altus Emergency Manager Lloyd Colston.
Fire emergency responders from Blair, Martha, Friendship, Altus, Olustee, Warren, Harmon County, deputies from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and a helicopter unit from the National Guard worked in unison to combat the fire, classified by Oklahoma Forestry Services as a large fire more than 300 acres.
“Without those resources, this fire could have been much worse,” Cain said. “Our task force was prepared, and I couldn’t have asked for a better response.”
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.