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August 7, 2012

Almost 10,000 acres burn in Grady County over weekend

County commissioners discuss, assess damage from fires

RUSH SPRINGS — The cloud of smoke that many Grady County residents saw in the sky on Friday afternoon came from a large grass fire located southeast of Ninnekah, Paulette Nicholas, Grady County Emergency Management Deputy, said at Monday’s regular Grady County Commissioner’s meeting.  

The fire, which started around 2 p.m. on Aug. 3 started west of County Road 2870 on County Road 1470 and burned almost 10,000 acres of land.

Over 100 firefighters from Grady, Stephens and McClain County spent more than 36 hours fighting the fire and keeping the area under observation, according to Dale Thompson, Grady County Emergency Management Director.

Two structures were lost, including the home of Max and Barbara Thomas, Nicholas said. Some Ninnekah residents took shelter at the Ninnekah School cafeteria until Saturday afternoon. Necessities such as bottled water, Gatorade and food were donated to residents and firefighters in need, Thompson said.

The dry climate will keep Grady County and Oklahoma, currently under a statewide burn ban, under threat for future disasters.

“Until we get some rain, this will remain a risk,” Nicholas said.

A few precautions that can be taken by Grady County residents, such as keeping lawns mowed and brush cut back.

“If you’re not going to water, mow it short and keep it that way,” Nicholas said.

Accoring to Nicholas, the approximate cost of the fire was over $15,000, using FEMA cost figures, which does not include repair cost to vehicles or fuel cost. Several fire trucks are in need of repair.

However, Nicholas said that the fire could have been worse.

“We could have lost more houses than we did. When you look at the total amount of damage, we’re pretty lucky.”

Over 78,000 acres have burned across the state since Friday, Nicholas said.

There was some good news at the Grady County commissioner’s meeting. The safe room project has been assigned a disaster number, which puts the program in line for approval from FEMA, Nicholas said. Nicholas clarified that the grant has not been approved yet. Therefore, residents who have applied should not begin any construction on safe rooms.

In other business:

E-911 Coordinator George Manning reported that he is continuing to audit the plotted sub-divisions, the ESRI and SDR programs are installed and upgraded and he is checking on the maintenance of the Central Tower Generator.

 The lease purchase agreement between the Board of the Grady County Commissioners and First National Bank and Trust of Chickasha for the Trane Air Cooled Chiller for the Grady County Courthouse was approved.

Bids were tabled for the minivan for the Minco Senior Citizens Center.

Cobb Engineering Firm was approved for the solicitation of engineers for JP29343(04) and JP27856(04)-2 bridges for District 3.

The contract for administration between ASCOG and Grady County for Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

The Certification of Leverage for Project 15081-CDBG11-Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

The Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan for Grady County for Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

The Certification of Categorical for Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

The Environmental Certification contract for Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

CDBG funds to be paid from the CDBG/Pocasset Fire Station –CDBG PO-2 and CDBG PO-3 for Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck was approved.

REAP funds were approved to be paid from the REAP/Pocasset Fire Station, REAP PO-2 and REAP PO-3 for  Project 15081-CDBG11 Pocasset Fire Truck.

The contract between Industry Systems and Grady County Clerk were approved.

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