Grass fire burns 250 acres south of Bartlesville

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Reported by: Lynn Casey
Updated: 1/29 9:44 pm Published: 1/29 9:12 pm

Crews around Green Country dealt with grass fires fueled by dry weather and heavy winds Wednesday.

One of those fires burned hundreds of acres just south of Bartlesville.

"We had about a 250 acre wildfire by the time it was all said and done," said Kary Cox, Washington County fire chief.

Since high winds were in the forecast, these crews were ready.

"Prior to the fire earlier today we'd made some arrangements with the emergency management director at the Washington County Fire Department for a mutual aid response," said Scott Owen, Oglesby fire chief.

That means multiple fire departments would automatically go on any fire.

Washington County Fire Chiefs make these arrangements when they know they'll be fighting high winds.

Those winds will likely be back, so Thursday they plan to have three departments ready to respond to fires in any district.

"That puts more resources on the initial response and minimizes property loss," said Owen.

Wildfires come with a set of dangers different from structure fires.

"It's a rapidly changing fire of its own. It will burn a lot hotter and is equally as dangerous, or more so, than most structure fires just because of the way it evolves," Owens said.

That's why crews train specifically for these types of fires.

"We will take a fire like today and we'll divide it into safe zones; put safety officers. I was managing water supply and the safety officer for the south end of the fire, watching for re-kindle; stuff that may start up," said Chuck Kerns, Washington County assistant fire chief.

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