Texoma Tinderbox - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texoma Tinderbox

More than 10 grass fires were reported across Texoma on Wednesday. Three were quickly put out, early in the day, near Burkburnett and Windthorst. As severe weather rolled through, lightning helped ignite more fires.

Winds of more than 40 miles per hour helped fuel the fires. Burkburnett Fire Chief Rodney Ryalls said, "Any kind of fire that you're dealing with, if you got the wind behind it, you definitely have got more problems to contend with."

Chief Ryalls said his volunteer department has been called out to more than 10 grass fires in the last two weeks. "You've got to get that much farther out to be able to stop that fire. Find a good area to get a break between it and the other fuels and getting it shut down. You know step your game up a little bit and get out there to be able to knock it down."

Wichita County Emergency Management Coordinator Lee Bourgoin said a fire just west of Burkburnett burned about 50 acres. Fortunately, much of the scorched land was non producing agriculture type land and oil field equipment.

Six departments were called to that fire, which did not reach any buildings. Chief Ryalls said the flames are also feeding on especially dry vegetation.

"We're getting some pretty intense fires that are starting up and a lot of that is the wheat fields that have just been cut. There's a lot of that stuff burning off, but we got a lot of tall grass out there."

Chief Ryalls said there are ways for people to help prevent fires:

  • Keep the area around your home mowed short.
  • Keep stacks of wood away from your home.
  • Don't burn trash or brush on windy days.
  • Be prepared and be cautious.

Click here for a complete guide on how to prevent fires and what to do to protect your home, family and pets.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6

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