Smoke filled the air in Carter and Love Counties again Tuesday as crews continued to battle grass and structure fires throughout the area.
Fires threatened area businesses and homes along Highway 77 and Interstate 35, stretching from just north of Marietta to the Oklahoma state line.
An All Page was issued to all Love County fire departments. Other area agencies stepped up to assist, including Ardmore, Dickson and multiple volunteer fire departments. Numerous police and state entities also responded, including Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Game Wardens, Oklahoma Wildlife Department, and Chickasaw Lighthouse Police.
Out-of-state responders included Cooke County Emergency Management, Gainesville Fire-Rescue, and Muenster, Lindsey, and Valley View fire departments. These agencies worked together until well after midnight Monday in an effort to control the situation.  
The exact cause of the initial fire has not been
determined.
“The most affected area is near Thackerville, east of mile marker 6 around Tabler and Hide-A-Way Roads,” said AshLeigh Gillham, director of Love County Emergency Management. “There have been no fatalities but there was a group of homes involved.”
Gillham said roughly 1,000 acres were affected by Monday’s fires, including about 60 acres just north of Marietta behind the hospital.
In an effort to control the spread of wildfires in the area, a prescribed burn to minimize underbrush took place on the Cross Timbers WMA on the west side of Love County. Gillham said personnel were on site to monitor the activity.
Many area crews were out today managing new and rekindled fires in the area. In response to the heightened risk, Carter County issued a burn ban effective yesterday at 2:30 p.m. Love County followed suit with a ban in effect as of today, prohibiting activities that could lead to a forest or grass fire. Exceptions to the ban include grills, smokers and other equipment when used over non-combustible surfaces and kept away from flammable vegetation.
Carter County Emergency Management Director Paul Tucker said violation of the ban could result in a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
“Fire danger goes up over the next few days,” Tucker said. “Winds are up and with no significant precipitation there will be near critical conditions on Thursday.”
The burn ban in Carter County is effective for seven days, but can be extended if extreme fire danger continues.
The complete text of the Carter County burn ban #2017-2018-75 is available via their webpage at http://www.cartercountyema.org/original/files/CCBB012318.pdf.
Fundraising efforts to aid those affected by recent fires will kick off Saturday. A Fill the Boot campaign for a Love County couple who are also an emergency dispatcher and a volunteer fire fighter will be held in Marietta. A chili supper to benefit the Cummins family who lost their home and two family members last week will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Love County Growers Market at 466 Legacy Park Lane in Marietta. Sponsored by the Sisters of the American Iron Riders and Greater Citizens of Love County, the meal will include chili, crackers, dessert, and a drink. Call (580) 812-2309 for questions about this event.