Dry conditions contributed to the spread of a fire Monday afternoon that burned a large area on the side of the Lake Tenkiller Dam Monday afternoon. Area fire departments including West Tenkiller and Blackgum responded to extinguish the blaze.
On Monday oficials with Oklahoma Forestry Services released a statement asking citizens to use caution as record high temperatures and lack of rain are creating the potential for increased wildfire danger across the state. While the entire state is drying out, southern Oklahoma is already seeing increased fire activity.
“We experienced a big increase in fires in southeastern Oklahoma over the weekend, with 19 fires burning 743 acres compared to 23 fires in the entire month of June,” said Aranda Chamberlain, who in her role as forestry fire control officer, dispatches fire information to firefighters from Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Broken Bow office. “We really want to encourage everyone to be aware of how dry it is and to be smart with anything that can cause a spark.”
The public can have a huge impact on preventing wildfires by delaying any burning until conditions improve, avoid dragging chains on vehicles, making sure that campfires are completely out, using extra care when grill outdoors and using caution with anything that can cause fire. Additionally, citizens are asked to report any new fires or suspicious smoke to the closest fire department.
“We know that our increased ability to predict fire weather, combined with Oklahomans heeding the warnings, has a positive impact on preventing wildfires,” said Oklahoma Forestry Services Director and State Forester Mark Goeller. “So we ask everyone to please use caution and help us spread the word to others.”
KXMX News Staff
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