GARFIELD COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Fire investigators continue to find more clues as they investigate suspected arson across three Oklahoma counties, believed to be the cause of at least a dozen fires. Garfield County sheriff Cory Rink said seven of the fires sparked within 30 minutes of each other, within a two-mile radius, across the southern part of the county.
Douglas volunteer firefighter Nicholas Kramer was the first one to realize there was a big problem because the first fire set Friday night was on his own property.
“we got reports of three or four more fires just down the road,” said Kramer. “That’s when we knew things were going to get out of hand pretty quick.”
Shortly after calls came into Logan and Kingfisher County volunteer fire departments of several fires, close to the county lines. All of the fires charred more than 60 acres over a 10-mile radius.
Ten fire departments quickly joined together to keep the fires from spreading. Miraculously no buildings were damaged and no one was hurt, but the flames destroyed crops, pastures, and some farmer’s livelihoods.
One fire wiped out 40 bales of one farmer’s hay supply, which has been scarce this year due to extreme heat this summer. The estimated cost of damage was more than $4,000.
Sheriff Rink said the person lighting the flames likely was familiar with the area, but he believed the locations were random. “We do not know for sure what actually started all these fires,” said Rink, “But I do know we will find who set them and we’re going to put them in jail.”
Rink said investigators do have a vehicle of interest, seen in the area around the time of the fires, but no arrests have been made as of Monday afternoon. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the OSBI will be helping with the investigation.