Brush Fires Keeps Firefighters Busy


Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 2:18 pm
By: News On 6


Grass fires are burning across Oklahoma.  The state was under a "Red Flag Fire Alert" for most of the day on Wednesday.  The warm, dry weather and strong winds were the perfect fuel for wildfires.  That alert expired on Wednesday night, but not before the damage was done.

News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports more than 250 acres west of Sand Springs are now nothing more than a charred mess.

"Our fire crews found a fire on both sides of 51st street that was obviously being aggravated by strong winds, dry conditions, not to mention the large amounts of debris post ice storm," said Tom Jenkins, Sand Springs Fire Department.

Fire crews from three departments worked to get the fire under control before it spread to more dry land.

It threatened homes, but they were all saved.

Firefighters said it was tough cutting down the flames.  The fire was burning through a wooded area full of ice storm debris.

"This area is so dense with debris that we can't get some of our firefighting vehicles back into this area," said Jenkins.

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Fire crews called the state forestry department for help, but even they didn't have anyone to spare.  That's because there were even more fires burning across the state.

Fires like the one in Ratliff in Carter County.  Three homes were destroyed as fire crews struggled to get in front of the fast moving flames.  They used bulldozers to create fire lines and an airplane to douse the fire with water.

Another fire in Chandler had their area fire crews busy.  You can see the winds carried it across a busy highway, scorching hundreds more Oklahoma acreage.  But firefighters say all of the fires could have been avoided and everyone needs to be careful.

"If it's windy, if its dry do not burn, especially when it could destroy, happened today," said Jenkins.