Grass fire in Osage County burns 10 acres Sunday morning

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Reported by: Tiffany Alaniz
Updated: 1/12 9:59 pm Published: 1/12 7:07 pm

In Osage county, firefighters were vigilant to stay on top of any grass fires before they got out of hand.

FOX23 found out that planning, preparation and monitoring make a big difference.

A fire started Sunday morning in Hominy and burned 10 acres.

Oklahoma forestry leaders said last year 169 fires burned 3,400 acres.

Firefighters said on a day like Sunday, it doesn't take much for a blaze to get out of control.

FOX23 spoke with Osage Nation Fire Prevention Specialist Ross Walker. "We're expecting the worst, hopefully not," he said.

Walker explained they are on high alert.

"Basically, everybody's ready, and ready to go," he said.

As a fire prevention specialist, Walker works w ith many local volunteer fire departments.

"I made a phone call to every department we got cooperative agreements or contracts with just asking if they were ready, if they were on standby," Walker explained.

Walker said every second counts when responding to a grass fire.

"On a day like today, we would rather notice it quick, get on it, get on it fast," he said.

With high winds, fires can quickly get out of hand.

"It's dangerous a little bit but at the same time, you know you're out there doing something good," Walker said.

For Walker, the mission to keep others safe comes from the heart.

"For me personally I've got a reason I do it. When I was 16, my parents they lost their house to a grass fire," he explained.

So he spends countless hours on lookout at spots above their coverage area.

"A lot of times we see the fire before it's even called in or paged in, we see it first," Walker said.

FOX23 found out they watch, take temperature readings and stay in contact with other fire fighters around the area.

"Some days can get long and boring. Other days we can sit out there for five minutes and be back out on the road," Walker said.

Walker said teamwork with the other departments helps most.

"We've lost structures before, but at the same time, we've saved more than we've ever lost," he said.

Walker uses a specific tool to gauge the wet and dry temperatures.

Those tools allow him to calculate the humidity which is another major factor in how the specialist will fight a fire.

All the tools used help to identify the area of the fire and find out how quickly it will spread.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 1/13/2014 10:43 AM
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