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

Texoma Tinder Box

Grass fires in Texoma have increased since the drought, forcing local fire fighters to fight more blazes.

“A fire’s nothing to play with around here,” said Lieutenant Robert Wade, a Burkburnett volunteer fire fighter.

Wade and his fellow fire fighters said grass fires can be very difficult to battle in a drought.

“The relative humidity, if it is 10 to 15 percent, fires can spread quickly,” said Wade.

Scorching temperatures and fire rapidly spreading in a drought stricken area does not make it easy for Fire fighters.

Wade said the drought has made the Burkburnett Fire Department come up with different tactics to battle fires.

“We cut dozer lines all the way around it and just start burning it out. We have a containment line all around it. We’ll put fire on the ground and burn it out so we’re not spraying any water,’ said Wade.

 Wade said grass fires in Burkburnett are mostly caused by wind blowing near electrical lines and oil field pumps.

He said while they are most common, grass fires are not just subject to rural areas.

Drivers also can spark fires “dragging chains from trailers” and “throwing cigarettes out,” said Wade.

Wade said those can easily be deterred, by smokers putting cigarettes out in a ash tray and drivers stopping to make sure chains are not dragging on roads.

Texoma homeowners can also do their share to protect their property and prevent fires.

Wade said every resident should check around their home to make sure it is clear, grass is maintained, and nothing around it seems a fire danger.

He said if people decide to burn items to make sure it’s when winds are low and the area where they live is in a burn ban.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6

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