Fire crews brace for the potential of more wildfires in Oklahoma

Tuesday, January 3rd 2006, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Grass fires in Oklahoma are under control but state officials say dry, windy conditions continue and more fires are likely until some rain falls.

Michelle Finch with the state Forestry Division says a little help from Mother Nature in the form of rain is needed to put out the fires that have destroyed homes and led to at least one death.

No rain is in the forecast and temperatures are expected in the 70s Tuesday with winds of up to 25 miles per hour by Tuesday afternoon.

John Roberts with the Forestry Division's air operations says four airplanes are dropping fire retardants on the burning areas and four more planes are on the way. Roberts says helicopters are dropping water on the areas.

State Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood says more than 331,000 acres and 220 homes and businesses have burned since November 1st. Since last week wildfires have been reported in 30 of the state's 77 counties.

Total damage is estimated at $10-million.