Most of Oklahoma was in extreme fire danger Wednesday, with high winds reaching speeds of 30 to 50 mph and humidity levels dropping. While Ardmore remained clear from the danger, several fires broke out in neighboring areas.
Several volunteer fire departments joined forces to help put out larger fires, with at least seven responding to a large grass fire near Ranch Road and Samedan Road in the Fox-Graham area. Lone Grove Fire Department Chief Stacey Phelps said two fire trucks were dispatched from the Lone Grove Department around 12:56 p.m.
However, the fire was still raging at 5 p.m., stretching over 150 acres at the time, Phelps said. Firefighters believe the fire may have been started by a dropped line from a local electric company.
The high winds were the biggest hurdle for firefighters on scene, Phelps said. “Every time they would get the flames down it would start back up again.”
Meanwhile, Phelps said the Lone Grove Fire Department responded to another grass fire around 3:16 p.m. near Hill Billy Lane in Love Grove. However, the fire only stretched around five acres before firefighters were able to put it out, returning from the scene around 5:15 p.m.
Phelps said the fire in Lone Grove was likely caused by a golf cart and was minor in comparison to the fire in the Fox-Graham area.
A third fire reportedly broke out around 4 p.m. near Burnside Road, in the Sulphur area, according to Sulphur Fire Department dispatch. However, all firefighters were still on scene at around 5 p.m.
Anytime wind speeds go up and the humidity goes down, the category levels for fire danger increase, said National Weather Center Meteorologist Matthew Day — meaning that even a small spark could start a rapidly-spreading fire.
While the elevated fire danger is expected to return to normal within the next few days, Day said individuals should still remain aware of activities that could cause fires.
“It’s also a good reminder for people to make sure that they are not doing things that could potentially start fires because there is a potential for the fires to grow more rapidly,” Day said.
More information concerning the fires still being worked will be provided as it becomes available.