Wind-whipped fires scorch parts of Oklahoma for a second day

Saturday, November 5th 2005, 12:10 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Dozens of acres in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area were scorched Friday by a second day of wildfires fueled by gusty winds and dry weather, authorities said.

There were no reports of injuries with the fires, which firefighters were able to bring under control by Friday night. One home was damaged, but the extent wasn't released.

A fire began about 3 p.m. in Logan County, officials said.

``Our biggest concern was to protect the people in the path of fire,'' Edmond Fire Chief Tim Wheeler said. ``We were also very concerned with potential damage to property.''

Firefighters were able to save one house that was damaged in the fire, Wheeler said.

``It was moving really quick,'' he said. ``It was very tough to fight it.''

Luther firefighters also worked several hours to contain a grass fire, Fire Chief Randy Hegi said.

``The fire was in big open areas and high winds helped the fire move really fast,'' Wheeler said. ``The fire took out probably 50 or 60 acres.''

What caused the fires wasn't immediately known.

Wheeler said heavy rains in July and August allowed grass to grow high. Temperatures were unseasonably warm, reaching record levels in central Oklahoma on Friday.

The National Weather Service in Norman issued a ``Red Flag'' fire warning for 41 counties on Friday, including Logan and Oklahoma counties.

``Usually from late October to the first of November it's fairly common to see these situations around Oklahoma,'' meteorologist Kevin Brown said. No moisture and high winds spells trouble fire-wise.''

A cold front is expected to bring cooler temperatures and calmer winds to the state on Saturday, forecasters said.