16th Dec 2021
Yesterday was a pretty crazy day in Guymon.
There had been forecasts of a particularly windy and dangerous day to come on Wednesday. For the most part, everyone heeds those warnings and tries to use caution and prepare – but also goes on with life to the extent possible.
And the winds did come. Strong winds blew consistent through most of the daylight hours, with the Mesonet showing wind gusts from 70-80 at times.
I was out of the wind for the most part that morning, fortunately. When I took a late lunch, there was smoke in the air and signs of a fire nearby. Power was off at my house, and lights had been flickering at my office that morning. I was supposed to read to a group of students at 2 p.m. I heard on the radio citizens on the far Northwest side of Guymon were evacuating. By the time I got to the school, the school was evacuating. Along with all schools and many residents and businesses in the North side of Guymon.
Below is picture I took from an affected area about 2:41 p.m. You can see that smoke has made it difficult to see even large structures just a block away.
The fire seemed to move North from that time and basically move North of the city limits by early evening. By later that evening authorities reported that the fires were mostly contained North of Guymon in the areas of Road R and the Beaver River. This eased concerns about the fire affecting rural homesteads, cattle, crops, and the like for an extended area to the North or otherwise. The calming of the winds yesterday evening and this morning was a huge help.
It was certainly a rough day. There were lots of disruptions. And probably lots of damage and sadness that has not yet fully surfaced and come to light. But it appears it could have been much worse and that we have a lot to be thankful for.
There are certainly many I do not know about or will overlook trying to do a quick list, but it is still worth sending thanks to the Guymon Fire Department, the Texas County Sheriff’s Office, Texas County Emergency Management, the Guymon Police Department, KKBS the Boss and other media, and all those who worked on the matter and worked on keeping area citizens notified.
Below are some links to sources to learn more about the situation. You can see some drone footage of the fire here. And see video of how it impacted some local roads and driving here. And read reports of the area of origin here. Feel free to reach out with stories, pictures, or anything related.