Creek County Residents Work To Protect Homes From Grass Fires


Monday, March 7th 2011, 10:15 pm
By: News On 6


Dan Bewley, News On 6

CREEK COUNTY, Oklahoma -- Grass fires have been a problem for a day and a half. The dry conditions and low humidity are making it very dangerous.

Residents are stuck in a waiting game, just hopeful the fires eventually burn out.

Smoke fills the air over Creek County; in some places it blankets the highway. This fire has been going since late Sunday morning.

"Right now we're in good shape. It's bypassed the house and now they're just trying to keep it from crossing the road and getting to the neighbors," said Creek County resident Michael Blair.

Michael Blair has a front row seat. His home is just yards from the path of the fire. He's spent most of the past 36 hours behind the wheel of his tractor, digging a fire line, hoping to get the best of a bad situation.

"It's not a good deal. I mean, it's a...one of them deals you can't avoid when it happens, you just got to fight it and go on," Blair said.

The fire started when a controlled burn got out of hand. It's destroyed more than 400 acres near Bristow, about 40 of that is Blair's land.

03/07/2011 Related Story: Firefighters Battle Creek County Grass Fire

We've covered these before and seen the devastation, but this fire hits home for News On 6. Michael Blair Sr. and his wife Kathy are the parents of our photojournalist Michael Blair II.

"I wet the porch and I went around front and I wet the front of the house and then I wet the leaves," Kathy said.

The Blair's were up all night, watching as the fire crept closer to their home. At one point, Kathy was afraid they would have to leave and she began getting together her most prized possessions.

"I packed some jewelry, my car keys, important papers, and pictures of my grand babies," Kathy said.

The good news, the Blair's say, no one was hurt and no buildings destroyed. But the patch of burned land shows just how dangerous dry weather can be.

Creek County commissioners approved a burn ban early Monday, which means outdoor burning of any kind is prohibited over the next 30 days