OCHELATA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Forestry Services is sending extra crews to the western part of the state as the potential for fire danger increases over the next few days.
Ochelata Fire Department is gearing up for the warmer days ahead by starting fires before they have a chance of starting by an accident.
“Ranchers call us and ask us to come do controlled burns," said Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Ingram. "Last night, we did a controlled burn on about 100 acres.”
Ingram said the fires get rid of old grass and weeds, allowing new grass to take its place.
But to keep the fire controlled and from endangering surrounding houses and structures, he said it takes a lot of manpower.
“We have guys lighting the fire and then we have fire trucks following them to put the fire out at the fence lines or the roads so it doesn’t go anywhere else,” said Ingram.
Ingram said fires are unpredictable and the weather plays a big role.
“You can go out there and on the best of days, things go right, set the fire and then in 10 minutes the fire creates its own wind and it’s gone,” said Ingram.
If you plan on doing a controlled burn yourself, he said there’s important guidelines from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Forestry Services that you must follow.
“You must have a good water source," Ingram said. "You must have the man power to control that burn, not just you going out and starting a fire.”
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.