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Tuttle Landowner Ignores Warnings; Starts Grass Fire With Controlled Burn

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TUTTLE, Okla. - A Tuttle landowner determined to get in a controlled burn before a burn ban was enacted, ended up starting a grass fire.

The Tuttle fire chief, Bruce Anthony, says the man came into their department last week to inform them of his plan to burn brush piles on Sunday.

"We tried to discourage him of that. He called again on Sunday. We tried to discourage him again because of the high fire danger. But he went ahead with his fire," said Anthony. "We can't stop them from burning. It's their land; in the absence of a burn ban. Now when we have a burn ban in place, then we can enforce that."

Once the fire got going, Tuttle dispatch did get calls from folks worried about it.

Tuttle firefighters went to check it out, but said it appeared to be under control.

"We just tried to relay to him again the danger and the risk, but he's willing to accept the risk. If somebody wants to accept that liability, they can. But bad choice, in these kind of conditions," said Anthony.

The fire ended up jumping the Canadian River and keeping Oklahoma City firefighters busy until 2:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Anthony says the landowner is lucky the wind was from the south.

If it had been out of the north, several homes would have been in the path.

"I don't think they realize how fast it can be out of control and how fast it can grow and how fast it can spread," said Anthony.

The fire did not end up damaging any property.

But it had, that landowner would have been liable.

Anthony says he expects Grady County Commissioners to go ahead and put a burn ban in place at their meeting scheduled for Tuesday.