Volunteer Firefighters Inspire Wildfire Victims
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Wagoner County ranch is recovering after losing more than 800 bales of hay in Tuesday’s grass fires.
The Okay Fire Department was one of the several departments it took to put it out.
The Okay fire chief said they were out at the ranch for 13 hours Tuesday putting the fire out and they said the grass fires involving hay bales are the hardest ones to put out.
Three Forks Ranch Manager Mark Sexton said it's not even about the nearly $30,000 lost, but the hard work that goes into each bale.
“It's just a lot of effort on our part and to see it go up the way it did and still see it burning it's not a good feeling,” said Sexton.
After moving several hundred bales out of the fires path, they were worried it could spread to a nearby pasture.
“You know luckily we didn't have any cattle on this thousand acres that the fire department saved,” said Sexton.
It couldn't have come at a worse time for the ranch as they are preparing for their upcoming bull sale.
“We had a guy here from Iowa filming bulls and he sat there and helped us fight fire,” said Sexton.
Because it happened during the day, it was difficult to find the manpower needed to get it under control.
“Just about everyone in our department works so the support from the other departments in our community is tremendous,” said Okay Volunteer Fire Chief Payden Metzger.
“The hay bale is the perfect mixture of pressure and fuel and it makes it really hard to fight. Add in a 30-35 mile per hour winds and it just makes it that much more difficult,” said Metzger.
After seeing the firefighters at work, some of the ranchers said they are inspired to help.
“It was amazing. We kind of talked here on the ranch about joining the volunteer fire department. It was crazy,” said Sexton.
“That's why we are on the fire department is to help the community,” Metzger said.
Metzger said they are always looking for volunteers, so if you are interested, you can visit their Facebook page.