State Investigates Arson In Recent Rash Of Oklahoma Wildfires - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

State Investigates Arson In Recent Rash Of Oklahoma Wildfires

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

More than half a dozen of the wildfires that ravaged Oklahoma during the past week may have been intentionally set.

And as investigators look for the people responsible, those affected are left sifting through the ashes and wondering how someone could do something like this.

8/7/2012 Related Story: Edmond Psychologist Talks Arsonists' Mindset

Assistant State Fire Marshal Joanne Sellars said they have only been called in to investigate the fires in the Cleveland County area. However, Sellars said out of all the suspicious fires they are called in to investigate, almost half of them are intentionally set.

Investigators in Cleveland County, Oklahoma County, Grady County and Payne County are looking for the person or persons who may have intentionally set these destructive fires.

"They have to think before they do something," said Sellars. "You are not going to dive into a swimming pool with no water, so do not throw a cigarette out of a moving car in these dry conditions now or any other time."

Sellars also warns that even those with the best intentions may accidentally start a fire that can end up burning out of control.

"We need to stop things that we're normally used to doing until a period of time passes where we see Mother Nature has returned to greener times," she said.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is looking for the driver of a black 2008 Ford F-150 pickup truck, after a witness claims he saw the person throw burning trash out the window.

8/6/2012 Related Story: Police Release 911 Call In Suspected Arson Case In Luther

That is what investigators believe started the wildfire that caused so much destruction over in Luther. The fire chief in Grady County also believes the Ninnekah fire was purposely set.

8/6/2012 Related Story: Ninnekah Wildfire Believed To Be Intentionally Set

And the same is true for the fire in Cushing, leaving fire crews and the State Fire Marshal's Office stressed to the max.

"Year in and year out, between 45 to 50 percent of our fires are determined to be deliberately set fires," she said.

Since the governor has put a burn ban in place, you are no longer allowed to set any campfires, bonfires, or burn any trash. You are also encouraged to have a bucket of water or running hose when doing any yard work. The penalty for violating the burn ban is a one thousand dollar fine and up to a year in jail.

8/3/2012 Related Story: Governor Issues Statewide Burn Ban For Oklahoma

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office has established a tip line for arson information. You can call or text 259-6276.

Oklahoma Wildfires: Complete Coverage

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