After blazes, risk remains high in Oklahoma

After blazes, risk remains high in Oklahoma

1 February 2009

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USA — The last day of January was a warm one, and the dry grass fueled wildfires across the state.

A grassfire four miles long and four miles wide burned through the afternoon and early evening Saturday near Crescent inLogan County. One house was destroyed by fire, but no injuries were reported, police dispatcherElaina Semrad said.

Five wildfires also burned in Woodward and Harper counties.

The largest blaze, near Selman, scorched between 10,000 and 12,000 acres, WoodwardFire Chief Steve Day said.

Two additional blazes, one north of Mooreland and another north of Curtis, also burned into the night. Those three fires were still burning at 8:45 p.m. Two smaller fires were extinguished earlier in the day. Fire crews from across the state and fromKansas andTexas assisted in the efforts, Day said.

The thick smoke was visible on theNational Weather Service’s infrared satellites. Fires that started during daylight hours still were detectable on radar well after dark.

InOklahoma City, a three-acre grass fire came within a few yards of a retirement apartment complex Saturday morning near NW 115 and Western.

Firefighters put out the blaze with no loss of property, but fire officials say the danger remains high.

DistrictFire Chief Greg Lindsay said crews will be ready when fires break out, but he asked residents to be careful not to set fires. Smokers should take extra precaution with their cigarettes, he said.

Twenty-five counties have burn bans in effect.

Conditions are expected to remain warm but dry today, with highs in the mid-40s to lower 60s across the state.

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