Wildfire Danger Continues For Much Of Oklahoma

Friday, November 5th 2010, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

UNDATED -- Through the weekend, much of Oklahoma is under a high fire danger. Dry conditions and gusty winds are making the worst possible conditions for fires, like several that started Friday afternoon.

Two grassfires burned about 600 acres between Sapulpa and Kellyville, getting close to some homes.

What's the best way to protect your property?

With the lack of rainfall, low humidity and any wind, a spark can quickly turn into a raging brush fire, out of control.

That threat has lit a fire under Tulsa resident Carolyn Dinger.

"We wanted to keep as much fire hazard away from the house as we could," she said. Dinger lives in the beautiful and hilly terrain near Sand Springs, and she knows the view comes with responsibility.

"It's a big maintenance, but we love it. We love this neighborhood, we love living out in the country," she said.

The maintenance she's talking about includes cutting down more than 30 trees around her house, pruning all the lower branches from the trees that she kept and keeping her firewood at least 30 feet away from the home.

When it comes to wildfires, the most vulnerable seasons are fall and winter. Vegetation becomes dormant and can easily ignite, like we've seen many times in recent years.

"It takes a good 10 minutes for the fire department to get here, and if you have wind and fire, your house can go up in no time," Carolyn Dinger said.

"Winds can push a fire faster than a person can run," said Sand Springs Fire Chief Mark Joslin.

The Sand Springs fire chief says fire danger means substantial man hours and wear and tear on his department's equipment.

"The risk of wildfires is high right now and it's going to continue that way until we get some measurable rainfall," Joslin said.

"You just do the best you can and hope something doesn't hit," said Tulsa resident Carolyn Dinger.

NewsOn6.com's Weather section can keep you informed of any red flag fire alerts in the area.