Wildfires could reduce some insect populations

Friday, February 10th 2006, 11:59 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Grass fires that have burned more than 400,000 acres in Oklahoma could have some benefits.

University of Oklahoma entomologist Heather Ketchum says the fires could result in fewer ticks in the state. She says the grass is so low the ticks have no shelter.

But other insects are doing better. Officials say aphids are showing up months earlier than usual because of the warm, dry temperatures and could cause problems in the wheat crop.

State fire information officer Bill Beebe estimates 437,195 acres have burned in Oklahoma since November 1st and about 90 percent of the fires are east of Interstate 35.