Fire risk remains across Green Country

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Reported by: Eddie Randle
Updated: 1/20 5:23 pm Published: 1/20 4:59 pm

Many parts of Oklahoma are under fire watch or have red flag warnings issued.

High winds and dry grass have played a role in fires that fire departments have responded to over the past few weeks.

FOX 23's Eddie Randle spoke with crews from the Osage Nation Fire Prevention Team about what they have been dealing with in recent weeks.

Fire crews said they have been on high alert, they said a lot the fires they have seen are from people burning brush.

They say the initial burning usually isn't an issue, the problem comes later.

"It's that second day that they go to work and they leave that brush pile and its unattended and it gets out and causes problems," said Ross Walker, Fire Prevention Tech for Osage Nation.

Another issue they are seeing red cedar trees. Fire officials say they burn with great intensity which could result in an even bigger blaze.

"When they flare up they cause spotting potential across our containment line. Once it crossed the containment line any new condition source can take off and start a new fire," said Walker.

Fire line protectors help crews watch for those types of problems.

"Their protecting our back door, and their looking for spot fires from the main fire that might spot over from the line," said Walker.

But he said they have help in more way than one.

"Right now, we got good resources; the volunteer is doing an amazing job in helping us out, we could not do it without the volunteer fire departments," said Walker.

Fire crews say be aware of the current weather conditions before burning brush.

"The conditions are right so it's going to happen and it's going to spread quick," said Walker.

Crews said they have seen multiple fires on a daily basis and the only thing keeping them above water is the extra help.

Tristan Stand has only been a volunteer fire fighter for Barnsdall for a few months, but said it is his way of giving back to his community.

"Being a volunteer fire fighter we take pride in it, we do what we can," said Stand.
He was one of the fire fighters on the scene of a grass fire which burned nearly 6 acres on Monday.

He said it was a situation that had its obstacles.

"The fence played a big part on the back side, there are couple homes back there and you got the school as well," said Stand.

But they were able to get it under control without any injuries or homes damaged.

School was in session but fire crews said because of the direction the wind was blowing the school was not in any danger.

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