Friday, February 10, 2017

Wildfires Keep Firefighters Busy

Sallisaw firefighters along with firefighters from the Brushy and Marble City Fire Departments and Oklahoma Forestry fought a wildfire blaze on Brushy Mountain north of Sallisaw from about 3 p.m. until after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Sallisaw Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong said one firefighter was treated at the scene for possible smoke inhalation and did recover.

He said the fire burned about 80 acres two miles west of U.S. Highway 59 North, and started next to the roadway.

“It could have been started by a cigarette,” Armstrong said.

One house was threatened but unharmed by the wildfire, Armstrong said.

The county is under a burn ban due to the dry and windy conditions, Armstrong reminded residents.

Sallisaw firefighters also extinguished a smaller wildfire on U.S. Highway 59 north, which damaged a vinyl fence, on Wednesday, and two more fires on Thursday. One of those was south of Sallisaw where a man was burning trash and another was southwest of Sallisaw where trash was being burned in a burn barrel but escaped.

An electrical wiring fire in a vehicle at the Redbird Smith Health Clinic in Sallisaw also called out Sallisaw firefighters on Wednesday. That fire was quickly doused with a fire extinguisher, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said it is expected that more wildfires will keep firefighters busy until the area receives heavy rain.

“It’s going to take a lot of rain,” Armstrong said about the dry conditions. 

According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, the area is about 15 inches down in average rainfall and is considered to be in a drought condition.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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