An Oklahoma TV news crew helped a man escape a wildfire after his road grader became stuck in harm’s way.
Video shot from a KWTV news truck in Woods County, Oklahoma shows the man attempting to drive the machine away from the fire when it gets stuck on the side of the road.
The man then jumps out of the tractor, and runs to the news car for safety.
Facebook wants you watch more live video
WATCH: Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano eruption caught on camera
Wildfires flare again in Oklahoma, threatens town of Freedom
Authorities in northwestern Oklahoma are encouraging residents of the town of Freedom to evacuate as an uncontrolled wildfire spreads rapidly toward the community of about 300 people.
Officials estimate the fire has burned roughly 20 square miles (51.8 square kilometres) of rural land, and is about 20 miles (32.2 kilometres) from the Kansas border.
Other fires burned Wednesday in Kansas and elsewhere in Oklahoma, fueled by dry, windy conditions.
The largest fire in Oklahoma has burned 86 square miles near the border with Kansas – the same area where blazes last month scorched hundreds of square miles.
The fire was sparked Tuesday by “arcing power lines” that touched the dry ground because of gusting winds, Oklahoma Forestry Services Director George Geissler said.
“During high winds, the power lines will start galloping between the poles,” Geissler said. “They’re actually whipping around. It looks like a jump rope.”
Authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order Tuesday afternoon for the Oklahoma town of Freedom, about 170 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. Assisted by an overnight shift in wind, crews were able to keep the fire from jumping the Cimarron River and directly threatening the town’s 300 residents.
But Wednesday’s forecast looked tricky for firefighters hoping to contain the blaze.
“We’re expecting wind gusts of 40, 45 mph,” said Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer. “That’s going to go all through the day and probably not starting to subside until sundown. That’s a huge concern.”
-With files from Daniel C. Houston And Jill Bleed