Burning trash may have started grass fire near Beggs

Tuesday, January 31st 2006, 1:23 pm
By: News On 6

Homeowners near Beggs are praising their fire department and have learned the danger of burning trash.

A fire at Gerald Thomas's home Tuesday afternoon started a bigger fire. Thomas was keeping trash in the back of a pickup truck and noticed one of the bags was smoking. He threw it into a barrel where it mixed with old paint cans and other items. "I heard a boom, a big explosion and I looked back and the fire, it was just out of control."

The fire burned 80 acres, but firefighters kept it away from homes.

The statewide burn ban is still in effect and anyone caught violating the ban faces up to a $500 fine and a year in jail.

Investigators believe arsonists set four wildfires east of Claremore. Firefighters got the fires under control, but not before flames destroyed a barn and the hay inside it. As much as 700 acres were burned along state highway 20, and several homes were threatened.

Another wildfire in Creek County burned about 100 acres off Highway 48 near Mannford. A couple of homes were threatened, but quick work by firefighters saved them. Investigators don't have a cause.

The state says 430,000 acres have been burned by 1,700 fires since November 1st. More than 200 homes and businesses have been destroyed.