Firefighters battling grass fires in Muskogee, Osage counties; fire danger remains high

MUSKOGEE - Firefighters continue to battle a grass fire east of Hominy Friday night, but the worst appears to be over.

Crews said late Friday night the fire had been about 40 percent contained by 9:30 p.m., but that no homes or buildings were in danger.

The cause is under investigation, though firefighters did say it looked suspicious.

The Hominy-area fire was just one in a rash of fires to spread across northeastern Oklahoma Friday. Another fire, which burned close to 300 acres in Muskogee, was started by a front yard brush fire, according to investigators.

The man authorities believe to be responsible for it was cited late Friday evening.

"We did have a long talk with the guy that did start it," Dailey told 2NEWS. "He does realize that he can't do it again. It is just a frustrating part to have all of these trucks and equipment and things out here trying to get this thing out, when the fire was started and it really didn't need to be started." 

A shed was destroyed in the fire Friday evening. Muskogee Fire Department officials tell 2NEWS no other structures were damaged, and no injuries have been reported in the fire.

PHOTO GALLERY: Grass fires scorch Green Country

Nearby, students at Benjamin Franklin Science Acadmeny were released from school early due to heavy smoke in  the area.

An email from the school Friday afternoon reads as follows:

"As you may be aware there is currently a grass fire south west of BFSA school.  As a precaution, Bus riders are being picked up at this time and will be dropped at home or their bus stop at the normal time.  Parent who wish to pick up their children can do so in front of the building at any time.  The children are not in any danger."

Wendy Burton, Public Relations Coordinator for Muskogee Pubic Schools, said the school was never in danger of catching fire, however, school officials wanted to be keep traffic flowing through the area for the firefighters. 

Firefighters also fought flames in Bowring Friday, containing the fire after it set hundreds of acres ablaze near Wah-Sha-She State Park.

Near Keystone Lake in Oak Grove a fire burned close to 100 acres, according to the Pawnee County emergency manager. Only three days earlier, a grass fire burned close by  just south of Westport.

According to the emergency manager, about 200 acres have burned in the area this week alone. 

A call came in Friday afternoon about 2 p.m. near Coweta of a brush fire threatening several structures. Crews from both Coweta and Broken  Arrow were able to contain and extinguish the fire, which burned about five to 10 acres. 

Friday evening crews from Catoosa, Inola, Oak Grove and Rolling Hills fire departments responded to a fire near Highway 412 between Catoosa and Inola. 

About 10 acres had burned including a dense brush before firefighters put out the flames. Crews used hand tools and pump vest to extinguish it. 

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