"Between two fires, we probably had 50 to 60 homes that are in danger the whole time those two were going," Blackburn said.
Firefighters finally got the upper hand, with the help of National Guard helicopters dumping 600 gallons of water at a time.
"They can spot those fires where they're at a lot easier for us, and they can drop that water in there where they can get the main load of the heat off of us so we can get the ground crews closer to it," Blackburn said.
When ground crews need help, they have to request it from the state emergency operations center. Local incident commanders like Chris Blackburn are then put in touch with state forestry leaders who determine what resources are needed, whether it's bulldozers or aerial support.
"We've got quite a bit of maintenance ahead of us to bring them back up," he said.
The forestry service, Oklahoma's lead agency for wildfires, makes the final decision on where the helicopters go. Then it's coordinated between the operations center and the Guard.
"They start looking again structures in danger, and things like that, compared to a fire that is just burning in the open, they're going to put it toward saving those structures," Blackburn said.
With the Keystone fires, the help from the air, made a big difference, now they hope for help from above in the form of rain.
While they're hoping for the wildfire season comes to end soon, then fundraising season begins for many volunteer departments across Oklahoma.
Keystone, for example, in just the past week has gone through fuel that would normally have lasted them two and a half months. Many volunteer departments all across the state are in the same situation.
According to a probable cause affidavit released on Thursday, ex-convict Kenneth Glen Pack, 34, was arrested on Monday about 4:30 p.m.More >>
According to a probable cause affidavit released on Thursday, ex-convict Kenneth Glen Pack, 34, was arrested on Monday about 4:30 p.m. More >>
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.