High winds and dry conditions led to high fire danger across Southern Oklahoma yesterday afternoon. Fire and emergency management services battled to keep grass and structure fires under control and reroute traffic along Interstate 35.
Smoke from the Marietta and Thackerville area fires was visible north of the county line. In some areas, traffic on northbound I-35 was stopped to allow crews to control fires and smoke to dissipate. In Marietta, police and fire dept. had assistance from Marietta code enforcement to block and direct traffic away from areas made potentially unsafe by the uncontrolled blaze.
Small fires in Carter County were quickly tamped down, however Love County had a different experience. “There was a big grass fire at the 15 mile marker at Marietta,” said Charles Campbell with Criner Hills Fire Department. “We assisted with that and a house fire on Scenic 77.” Campbell said they were en route to assist with yet another out of control grass fire near mile marker 5 at Thackerville.
Many agencies came together to assist with containment, including Ardmore and Dickson Fire Departments. “It’s definitely not a good time for burning trash right now,” said Paul Tucker with the Carter County Emergency Management office. “If you see fire, stay away and out of the smoke.” Tucker said Carter County is not currently under a burn ban.
One Love County dispatcher lost their home to yesterday’s fires. Despite the long day, area first responders teamed up and scheduled a Fill the Boot/Bucket event in Marietta this Saturday. They will be out collecting donations to help the family recover from the loss.