Oklahoma Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers responded quickly on Feb. 28 to provide relief following devastating wildfires that swept through northwest parts of the state the evening before.

“Our volunteers are delivering pallets of water, snacks, etc. to Gage and other parts of Ellis County,” said Oklahoma Baptists Disaster Relief Director Jason Yarbrough. “I have requested ash-out recovery teams to respond to that area, as there are about a dozen homes impacted or destroyed. This would include a feeding team in addition to our other volunteers.”

Yarbrough added, “I was also called by our disaster relief friends in Texas to be on alert for the possibility of helping with homes in Texas Panhandle.”

Public safety officials in Ellis County reportedly ordered evacuations in both Gage and Shattuck Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 27, once a wildfire crossed into the state from the Texas panhandle. Strong winds, dry grass and unseasonably warm highs fueled the blaze, the Associated Press reported. The largest blaze, known as the Smokehouse Creek Fire, forced the closing of highways in the area.

On Monday, Feb. 26, wildfires also were reported in Latimer, Harper, Woods, Okfuskee and Pontotoc counties.

DR is asking for additional ashout volunteers needed for fire cleanup in the Ellis County area (Shattuck/Gage area). Certified DR volunteers are asked to contact Jay Austin at 589/228-4707. A volunteer team will deploy Monday, March 4 from the DR Team Center in Okarche.

For more information on Disaster Relief or to donate, visit okdisasterhelp.org.