Area volunteer fire firefighters are out in the field extinguishing raging fires regularly, but this weekend the Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department will be starting another type of fire for it’s annual barbecue fundraiser.

Since 1983, families, friends and fire fighters have dedicated one day out of the year to coming together to enjoy barbecue, dessert, and an auction in support of the volunteer fire department.

This year, the fundraiser will take place on Saturday at the Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department Station #1, located at 3346 S. County Line Road in Overbook. Live music will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the meal will be served at 6 p.m.

Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles Campbell said donations will be taken at the door and pies, cakes, quilts and various other items brought in will be auctioned off during the event.

“One lady just donated quilts to be auctioned off and we’ve got other stuff coming in,” Campbell said. “Tickets to different games, we’ve got gift certificates to buffets and stuff that we auction off.”

Proceeds from the event all go towards keeping the volunteer fire department running, Campbell said. Whether that’s paying monthly bills or providing training for fire fighters, donations are a necessary part of supporting local volunteer fire departments.

“Mostly what it is, is we try to get an annual fee where we can keep our gas going and if our trucks break down then we’ve got to get the trucks back up and things like that,” Campbell said. “That’s the way we’ve got to have it to keep it going. If we don’t get support from them, then we have to come up with it somewhere else.”

Beyond fundraising, the barbecue is a good way for community members to share in camaraderie with their local first responders who are constantly working behind the scenes to keep them safe, Campbell said.

“I just encourage them to come and be in good fellowship with us and get to know your fire fighters in your area and get together with families and friends and have a good time,” he said.

Donations for the Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department can be mailed to Criner Hills VFD 3346 S. County Line Road Overbook, Oklahoma 73453 or sent through PayPal at