OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Blaine County fire crews say the wildfire, that sparked 11 days ago, has now been 85 percent contained. Around 120 different crews from across the state have been battling this fire since the start, and a department from Texas has come to help.
Sunday, Blaine County Emergency Management told KFOR the wildfire is still actively burning, but several departments were released Wednesday night. They now have one unit monitoring for any flair ups. That will continue until the fire is out. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“I really hope that we’re getting close to the end of this, so that in a day or so we can say it’s contained, or it may not be a 100% out inside until we get a ring. And who knows when that will be with our current weather conditions going on,” said Perry Scheffler, Blaine County Emergency Management and Hitchcock firefighter.
July has brought us a lot of dry weather which has caused an extremely busy fire season for firefighters across Oklahoma.
There are ways to help prevent fires from popping up.
The summertime is all about outdoor activities and it just takes a tiny spark to get a grassfire moving.
People are using grills, mowing their lawns, and driving cars with equipment that can get extremely hot in temperatures like this, which can all possibly turn into a large grassfire or wildfire if not careful.
“A lot of the things that what we’re seeing, you know, it’s maybe a discarded cigarette. We’ve seen some construction welders a few weeks ago that were welding. Some sparks got in the grass and we were off and running on a large grass fire,” said Scott Douglas, captain, assistant public information officer for Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Douglas says to fireproof your home now by making sure your grass is cut short, not storing any firewood around your home, or leaving anything stored next to it like furniture or a doghouse.
“If this grass fire approaches your house, catches those things on fire, makes those flames taller, it can then extend into your home,” said Douglas.
Douglas also suggests a 30-foot safe area around your home that’s clear of anything that could possibly catch on fire.
“Make sure any holes in your home like gable vents or screening, make sure that those are all closed off. Make sure that’ll prevent any spark from entering your home. Dried leaves and guttering, maybe some dead branches from trees that’s fallen on your home… That’ll help prevent your house from catching on fire,” said Douglas.
Some things the Oklahoma City Fire Department is doing to keep us safe are monitoring the areas and dispatching brush pumpers to all fires.
“These fires that we’re going house fires, apartment fires, they produce a large amount of embers. So, these embers can travel, you know, up to a mile… If one of these tiny embers lands on your home, you may be in trouble,” said Douglas.
Douglas says it’s all about our human interaction with the environment, so be mindful especially with the weather we’re having.
“We’re now responding to grass fires daily. We just want people to know, to be very careful,” said Douglas.
Officials say dry vegetation, low humidity, high winds and hot temperatures are all the ingredients you need to get a grassfire moving.