Wildfires continue to burn across Green Country

Posted at 10:38 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 23:38:10-05

TURLEY, Okla.- Wildfires have ravaged northeast Oklahoma for the past two days, and Saturday, several acres continue to burn.


The majority of the fire in the area is out except for just a few hot spots near Cincinnati Avenue in Turley.


Small fires were intentionally set by crews. It's called “back burn” and these flames are essentially burning up all the fuel in this area.


Crews are monitoring them in the area to make sure they don't get out of control.


“There is some hot spots. There will be smoke coming from it. So tomorrow morning people are probably going to see smoke,” said Turley fire captain David Morgan. “We're aware of it. We're going to be rotating people in and out all night.”


Saturday, a large wildfire that started on Thursday in Okmulgee County continued to burn around the lake. U.S. Forestry workers contained the flames to a small wooded area. In all, about 20,000 acres have burned in the county over the past two days.


With so much fire potential right now, many are questioning why our area doesn't have a burn ban.


Okmulgee emergency management says despite high fire danger, we just don't meet the criteria.


“The National Weather Service has to determine that your area is in a drought condition. Well, we're not in a drought condition, because we've had a lot of water,” said Okmulgee County Emergency Management director Tim Craighton.


Eighty inches of rain in the past year for Okmulgee County to be exact according to Emergency Management. They received flood damage just 2 months ago, which actually makes fighting these fires even harder.


It's the top layer of dead vegetation that's burning but underneath is still soggy so trucks tend to get stuck in the mud.


Turley fire department says one firefighter here was treated for heat exhaustion earlier today but he has been released. They anticipate everything to be out by Sunday.

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