Update on grass fires from Oklahoma Emergency Management

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Updated: 8/06/2012 5:59 pm Published: 8/04/2012 5:19 pm

Due to ongoing fires, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas. Additionally, OEM is working with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Division, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma State Department of Health, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

A statewide Burn Ban is in effect. This ban, issued by Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday, supersedes all county burn bans currently in place and remains in place until conditions improve and it is removed by the Governor. For a copy of the current burn ban resolution or for the most up-to-date information go to: www.forestry.ok.gov/ burn-ban-information

A State of Emergency remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin due to extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. Under the executive order, the State of Emergency lasts for 30 days.

The Mannford/Freedom Hills fire continues to burn. A National Guard helicopter is en route to assist with water drops. Sand Springs, Tulsa and Wagoner County has sent ground firefighting resources.

A fire in Yale that began Sunday evening continues to burn. A National Guard helicopter is responding with water drops.

Okmulgee County Emergency Management reports four fires burning including one near Nuyaka and one near Morris. Bureau of Indian Affairs and Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife assisted as well as the City of Okmulgee.

Pawnee County Emergency Management reports two fires burning – one south of Cleveland on Airport Road and the other four miles west of Jennings.

Norman Emergency Management reports the fire in Norman is contained with units roaming for hot spots.

Additional fires have been reported today near Cushing, in Pittsburg County and in Beckham County.

More than 93,400 acres have burned in fires across the state since Friday.

Oklahoma Forestry Services reports:

Creek County Fire (Freedom Hills/Mannford area) – 58,500 acres
Cushing Fire – 1,578 acres
Drumright – 6,493 acres
Luther Fire – 2,600 acres
Norman/Noble/Slaughterville Fire – 7,900 acres
Shamrock Fire – 3,990 acres
Yale Fire – 2,823 acres

Grady County Emergency Management reports 9,600 acres have burned in the Ninnekah fire.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state’s request for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) for seven fires that occurred during the last week. The grants will help reimburse local governments, volunteer fire departments and other first responders for costs associated with responding to the fires. FMAGs were secured for the July 30 fire in Stillwater, the August 2 fire in Geary, the August 3 fires in Luther, Noble/Slaughterville and Creek County, and the August 4 fires in Drumright and Glencoe. The authorization makes FEMA funding available to reimburse 75 percent of state, local and tribal government eligible firefighting costs for the designated fires. Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. OEM will continue to assess the need for additional federal assistance.

The following American Red Cross Shelters remain open:

Slaughterville Baptist Church – 10101 60th Street, Lexington
Sand Springs United Methodist Family Life Center - 101 W. 38th Street, Sand Springs
Cushing Senior Citizens Center – 203 E. Cherry, Cushing

American Red Cross reports 19 people stayed overnight at the Sand Springs shelter, 6 people stayed overnight at the Cushing shelter and 6 people stayed overnight at the Slaughterville shelter.

Additionally, the American Red Cross continues to provide canteens and volunteers to support firefighters in the affected areas.

The Salvation Army and Southern Baptist continue to respond to multiple wildfire locations. Both organizations are continuing to serve food, provide hydration and provide emotional and spiritual care. Canteens across Oklahoma remain on stand-by for their services as needed in other areas.

State Agriculture officials and the Sand Springs Animal Control Unit have teamed up with volunteer veterinarians working in Sand Springs to provide shelter and medical care to animals that have been impacted by wildfires in the area. Pet Smart Charities has donated food and crates to aid in the disaster response. The shelter is located at Sand Springs United Methodist Church - 101 W. 38th Street, Sand Springs.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department recommends taking the following steps after your property has been damaged by a fire:
  • When the fire has moved on or been extinguished, call your insurance agent or company claim line as soon as possible.
  • Make a list of your damaged property and make necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage. 
  • Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully to fully understand your coverage and your rights. If you don’t have the policy in hand, ask the agent for a copy.
  • Know if you have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage.
  • Ask your agent about additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use.
  • Refer to your policy to know what deductible you'll be required you'll be required to pay.
  • For questions about insurance claims or to report insurance fraud, please call the Oklahoma Insurance Department consumer assistance number at 1-800-522-0071 or online at http://oid.ok.gov 

The following highways are closed due to conditions resulting from fires, smoldering fires or smoke across the road in the area, power lines have also been down on some of these routes. At this time there are no reports of damage to the roadways but crews continue to inspect the closed highways. 

OPEN:SH-51 between SH-99 and SH-151 in Creek County

Road closings:
Continued closures in Creek County include areas at the SH-33/SH-48 junction:
· SH-33 is closed between 433rd W. Ave. and 305th W. Ave.
· SH-48 is closed between 61st St. South and 141st St. South

For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.

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

sunshine rain - 8/6/2012 7:35 PM
0 Votes
I appreciate your coverage of the fire in Creek County, KOKI-FOX23. I went to see my property today and found my house, barn, shed, and well house nothing but ashes. I had no insurance. I've read that FEMA is going assist with first responder costs, which is great. Do you know, or could you help to get, FEMA to help those of us with no insurance with low-interest loans? I understand that FEMA would need to declare a personal disaster, or something like that. Would you see whether we can get that to happen? I, and many others without insurance, would really like to rebuild. Thank you.

William - 8/5/2012 9:37 PM
0 Votes
We are a dozer contractor,Yes we are listed on CCR List. We operate in creek,osage,okmulgee,tulsa,rodgers Counties. We will go were needed. Kind of sad that with all the homes,pasture,and evacuations NOT 1 Call for assistance. Kind of heart breaking. Why do thay not use resorces here within 20 miles or less to help save ones home? jynxwillie@aol.com

USMCwomanvet - 8/4/2012 7:35 PM
0 Votes
Besides water and Gatorade what else do the shelters need?! Blankets? Baby food?

aleman - 8/4/2012 6:39 PM
0 Votes
Old dried out underbrush and vines that over grew in the wetter years isn't helping matters, don't know why they won't let them burn this out when it it wetter.
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