Recent rain could lead to worse than normal wildfire season
OKLAHOMA CITY- While some parts of the country have been battling wildfires throughout the summer, it has not been your typical July in Oklahoma.
However, experts say that doesn’t mean the threat is low for wildfires to hit the Sooner State.
In fact, the rain will bring more vegetation that could provide fuel for a fire.
George Geissler, with Oklahoma Forestry Services, said, “We have the grasses and the trees that have put on all this extra growth.”
The rain made for lush lawns and green trees, which could lead to problems when another drought comes along.
Major Michael James, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, said, “This year with the rain we’ve had, it’s caused a great growing season.”
It hasn’t been enough for bigger vegetation, which means there’s a chance that a spark could really ignite larger, dryer items like tree limbs.
Geissler said, “The larger tree limbs are still at levels that if they start burning it’s going to be difficult to put out.”
Oklahoma City fire officials say there are two main wildfire seasons in Oklahoma and one is at the end of summer when temperatures are hotter and vegetation becomes dry.
Geissler said, “We now have more dry fuel available than we would have had last year at this time.”
Experts say you should enjoy what the rain has nourished but keep in mind that a spike in temperature can cause a spark on the ground.
Major James said, “The problem is with all rain, of course, the grass and all the vegetation grows. Now, our normal fire season in August increases and everything goes dormant which will cause all that material to be readily available for burning.”
Officials stress that you should always keep the grass and vegetation around your home trimmed and under control.