Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 4, 2012

NEW: Glencoe residents gathered belongings and pets as they prepared to evacuate

GLENCOE, Okla. — Glencoe resident Kirk Hardin knew the worst was yet to come Saturday afternoon. He could see the black smoke from wildfires churning toward the town of approximately 600.

“We’ve got pastures,” Hardin said as thick smoke swelled southeast of Glencoe. “I have a friend who is down by Stillwater who just lost 600 acres of pasture. ... I’m in the same boat. If it gets on me, I’m going to lose my pasture and under these circumstances, that probably means the loss of my cow herd.”

Hardin’s family waited at home. The family had taken precautions, including gathering their pets together, and were ready to evacuate.

“We turned on some water and we’ve watered stuff down,” Hardin said. “I brought the livestock that I could get in where there’s no fuel, put the vehicles to where there was no fuel around them that we’re not going to be driving out in. And then, we’re just waiting.”

Tommy Focht, 71, waited with his daughter, Tomi Sue, just outside their home in southern Glencoe as firefighting equipment and police vehicles surged up and down Highway 108 in and out of the fire area.

Focht said he believed his home would be all right.

“It came up to a field right there and they stopped it there,” Focht said.

But Focht didn’t take any chances, with some of his property loaded in his daughter’s car. Some of his papers remained in his fire safe, where he believed them to be safe.

“He has lived there probably since the 70s,” she said. “He’s a longtime resident of Glencoe.”

Focht grew up on a farm eight miles outside Glencoe. He said he attended school in town.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Focht said.

Focht said he and other Glencoe residents who remained, despite evacuation orders prompted by the fire, were ready to drive north if needed.

The American Red Cross opened an evacuation center for Glencoe-area residents displaced by Saturday’s wildfires. The center — First United Methodist Church, 600 Sixth St., Pawnee, provided shelter, food and drink for the residents.

The Red Cross will have teams in the shelters to collect information from residents that will be used to help the Red Cross in recovery efforts.

The Red Cross also had teams in the field providing hydrating beverages, snacks and meals for firefighters.

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