January 14, 2014

Warm, windy weather contributes to weekend flames


Several fires, fueled by dry conditions and high winds, blazed over the weekend in Grady County. 

Fires in Chickasha on Highway 81 and 19 as well as fires in Rush Springs took hundreds of acres. 

In Rush Springs, 500 acres burned and six homes were threatened and one unoccupied mobile home was lost. Most of the damage over the weekend was to outdoor buildings and unoccupied mobile homes. 

Three Grady County Firefighters were injured. They were released from Grady County Memorial with minor injuries. 

While one fire kindled by burning trash and another from a welding accident, the dry and windy conditions caused the fires to spread. 

Moisture levels are low. About 1.2 to 1.5 inches are expected for the month of January, Dale Thompson, Grady County Emergency Management Director, said. 

He added that, so far, the forecast does not show any precipitation for the next 10 days. The precipitation at the beginning of the month was mostly fog and drizzle, Thompson said. 

There were wind gusts of 40 mph and humidity was 15 to 20 percent. Thompson said controlled burns are not recommended when winds are above 20 mph when humidity is below 30 percent. 

The high winds also made it impossible to receive air support for the fires. 

Citizens need to call authorities to let them know when they are doing a control burn, Thompson said. 

Grady County residents are asked to call the Grady County Sheriff's Office to let them know a control burn will take place, at 405.224.0984. 

They may call the emergency management office 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 405.222.2339 to get current weather information or to report a control burn. 

A possible county-wide burn ban is on the agenda for the Grady County Commissioners next Monday. Yesterday the commissioners asked Grady County Emergency Management about implementing a burn ban in light of the recent fires and current weather conditions.

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