Large Brush Fire Threatened Buildings North Of Sapulpa

Tuesday, July 26th 2011, 2:06 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

SAPULPA, Oklahoma -- The Sapulpa fire department is watching for hotspots after an all-day fire fight.

Thick brush often made the fire unreachable, but one of the biggest battles for firefighters had nothing to do with the flames.

The fire started at 11:30 Tuesday morning near Frankhoma Road and 81st street in Creek County. The temperature felt like 106 degrees during the worst of the fire.

Dry conditions, low humidity and wind pumped up the fire.

"I was at work and I was concerned about my dogs, so I rushed home," said Cece Marino, Sapulpa Resident.

Marino immediately turned on her sprinklers, doing whatever she could to protect her home.

I'm going to start collecting belongings that are precious to me, just in case we have to pack up and run," she said.

SkyNews6 took the assistant fire chief up in the air to get a better view. He says it started as a car fire that quickly flared out of control.

"By the time we got on scene, we had the vehicle fire under control. It was probably a matter of five minutes before we had 2-300 yards of fire line," said Sapulpa Fire Captain Greg Tallman.

Berryhill and Glenpool crews helped out, as power poles turned orange in the flames.

"It's causing us a lot of problems jumping roads, burning treetop to treetop," Tallman said.

And firefighters worked so hard to contain it, heat exhaustion became another problem. The fire chief says his guys wore lighter gear than usual, but that can only do so much.

"When they really begin to overheat and start to get in the line of heat exhaustion, they actually feel like they're a little cooler sometimes," said Sapulpa Fire Chief Dan Whiteside.

Ice packs, water and a careful eye greeted crews as they took breaks.

"Make sure somebody's at home back there behind those eyes when ask them questions," Whiteside said.

At least four Sapulpa firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion by the end of the day. But their hard work meant residents like Marino still have a place to call home.

"I'm going to stay home and keep my eye on it," Marino said.

The National Guard was called in to drop water on a few hot spots of the six square mile fire Creek County is under a burn ban, as is most of the state.