Authorities are patroling to stop new fires

Tuesday, January 3rd 2006, 11:19 am
By: News On 6

Even as fire crews get flare-ups under control, there seems to be no stopping new fires from sparking.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says even something small can cause big damage. We heard that at least one fire Monday was sparked from just a cigarette a driver flicked out their car window. That's why Chief Mike Harris with the Tulsa Fire Department was on patrol Tuesday.

On days when there is an extreme fire danger, Chief Harris takes to the streets to watch for people who finish their cigarette, and throw the butt out the window. The fine for discarding while driving, $220 and there are eyes watching all over the state. "We have Highway Patrol troopers, Tulsa Police officers, and fire marshals out doing this, trying to prevent the fires from occurring."

Sheriff's offices are also trying to crack down on rural burning that can quickly get out of control with these high winds and dry conditions.

The Creek County Sheriff's Office tells the News on 6, the typical fine for illegal burning is $500 for a first offense. But under these circumstances, residents should consider themselves forewarned and that fine can jump to a $1,000.

With so many fire crews already feeling the heat from fighting these wildfires, anything Oklahomans can do to help stop new fires from starting, will come as welcome relief.