Oklahoma Fire Departments Ready For More Grass Fires After Busy Weekend

Monday, January 20th 2014, 5:57 pm

Grass fires popped up over the weekend, fed by our extremely dry conditions.

Firefighters were ready for a repeat on Monday, and another small fire started around 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

Firefighters have been working since late last week on grass fires that multiplied, as the humidity dropped and the temperature rose.

1/18/14 Related Story: Grass Fires Spread Across Green Country

The Jennings Fire Department hasn't had time to clean up and regroup from a series of grass fires that damaged equipment and stretched their resources.

Scott Lytle with the Jennings Fire Department, said, "We had three grass rigs, a command truck, a water tanker and 12 guys and we had mutual aid from Terlton and Oilton, and each of them supplied two trucks."

Jennings fought wildfires Thursday, Friday and Sunday, all of them during a time when outdoor burning was discouraged because it was so dry and windy.

Firefighters say an outdoor fire would only be safe with a fire crew standing right beside you.

"Water supply, if you've got water and you can't go out there with two or three guys and get a handle on it, you've got to have four or five guys to be with you at all times, and water," Lytle said.

The Silver City fire department fought one right off Highway 51. It took six hours to contain it, after the wind died down.

With such dry conditions, it isn't hard to get a fire going, and with the wind, it can spread quickly. But firefighters believe one near Mannford could be suspicious.

It started just after dark, and there's nothing, not even a tossed out cigarette, to indicate it might have been an accident.

Over the weekend, fires burned near Mannford, Jennings, Barnsdall, Pawnee and Skiatook.

That fire started as a small grass fire, but burned a house that was surrounded by woods. The homeowners were away and no one was hurt.

The biggest fire that Jennings worked over the weekend was started intentionally, but then got out of hand.

"About 80 acres, a couple of guys went out to light a brush pile and it got away from them and they came running in to town wanting us to put it out," said Lytle.

While there is not a burn ban in place, and even though it has cooled off, it's still so dry that even a tossed out cigarette can start a fire.