Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 6, 2014

Crews join efforts to stop wildfire

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A Garvin County crew joined efforts Monday in battling a large-scale wildfire that continues to burn in central Oklahoma.

The officials here are responding to a call for help after a controlled burn in Logan County got out of control Sunday afternoon.

The fire has burned hundreds of acres and a number of homes and buildings as the blaze looked to be rekindling for another round of danger Monday afternoon.

Bud Ramming serves as Garvin County’s emergency management director. He fielded a call asking if Garvin County could send some help in the efforts to get the large fire under control once and for all.

“I’m putting together a task force to go up and help in Logan County,” Ramming said.

Included in the group are firefighters from Lindsay, Stratford and Elmore City.

With them they took brush trucks, pickup trucks equipped with radios and a tanker.

“We’re going to assist them up there contain the fire,” he said.

“That fire is still going and flaring up. They’re switching out some crews, so we’re going to see what we can do to help.”

The fire got started late Sunday afternoon near the Guthrie area. With no burn ban in place a controlled burn got out of hand.

Oklahoma City, Guthrie and Edmond fire crews initially responded to battle the blaze.

An estimated 1,000 people were evacuated from the area. One resident, a 56-year-old man, who didn’t leave during the evacuations was found deceased inside his home.

As of early Monday it was estimated about 75 percent of the fire was under control as some residents were allowed back into their homes.

Also helping with water drops on the fires were Oklahoma National Guard helicopters.

It’s believed the Garvin County crew is among the dozens of fire agencies helping out with the Logan County situation.

Also pitching in are officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS), a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry, who established unified command with fire departments.

“We have sent dozers and engines on the ground assisting local firefighters,” said Oklahoma state forester George Geissler, “and our fire operations personnel are coordinating aircraft to assist with efforts on the ground.”

“Crews are working to contain the fires that started (Sunday) in Logan and Woodward counties, as well as other fires in the eastern part of Oklahoma,” said Geissler.

“The weather doesn’t look like it will improve any for the next few days so we hope everyone will remain vigilant with outdoor activities.”

With the critical weather conditions the OFS is urging Oklahomans to be very cautious throughout the week with any outdoor activity that could spark additional blazes.

Caution should be exercised with outdoor grilling and welding, while drivers should remember many roadside fires are started due to vehicles dragging chains or continuing to drive on a rim after experiencing a flat tire.

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