FITZHUGH—A large, fast moving grass fire threatened rural homes and forced authorities to shut down traffic on the Chickasaw Turnpike Sunday.

Officials on scene said the fire was started when sparks from a cutting torch ignited the grass. With low humidity and gusty winds, the flames moved fast and swift across the prairie. Fire scorched dozens of acres of land and destroyed over 100 round bales of hay.

Firefighters from Roff, Fitzhugh, Vanoss, Pickett and Ada worked furiously to protect farm houses and keep the fire from spreading to the other side of the turnpike. Roff police and troopers from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed a 400 yard section of the turnpike to prevent accidents and keep the area clear for firefighters.

Inside the massive wall of smoke, visibility was only five feet. Firefighters first diverted the fire away from homes that were in the path of the flames, then attacked it from the sides and put it out before it jumped the turnpike.

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