Wildfire Spreads in Oklahoma City Areas

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Last week’s wildfires, wreaked havoc across Oklahoma and Texas. It is reported that at least six deaths can be attributed to the wildfires but no specific details about who died or where these fatalities occurred.

Firefighters from various departments confer about a wildfire burning in Palo Pinto County

The fire started along I-35 destroying 50 homes in the Midwest City/Oklahoma City area with 5,000 acres being consumed in the fire’s rampage. Statewide there are reports of 100 homes having been destroyed, and more than 200 homes being damaged.

Some of the initial trouble for firefighters was the dense vegetation that hindered the hotspots from being put out. Local and state firefighters worked in collaboration to get the right equipment to cease the fires. High winds also played a hand in feeding the fire’s ferocity, keeping it smoldering and blazing after long grueling hours of attempting to extinguish its frenzy.

In the wake of the receding heat wave, and a weekend with some partial rain; many are breathing a sigh of relief that the fires were contained and extinguished, while others scratch their heads in confusion as to what is supposed to be done in the aftermath of losing their homes.

The wildfires are said to have begun due to severe heat, low precipitation, and little rainfall. Steve Carano, RSC Professor of Meteorology, said “It’s been a record breaking summer, with a high bridge pressure causing high pressure to settle over Oklahoma keeping storm systems from forming and cold air from bringing in relief.”

Carano does not believe that the triple digit heat will return, with the heat not going above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Carano’s three-month forecast for the winter months is slightly above average warm temperatures.

With the Autumnal Equinox just around the corner (September 23rd, 2011 4:05a.m.) cooler temperatures are on the way. Carano said, “we are losing two to three minutes of sunlight everyday, and these temperatures can’t last forever.”

Sea of fire moving through Oklahoman grass.

The fires could not have been kept in check without the efforts of local and outside fire departments.


  1. Deborah Eckroat says:

    My house was in the middle of all these fires and I want to say a big Thank You to the real hero’s, the Fire Fighters who worked ceaselessly until these were under control. My heart goes out to my neighbors who lost their homes, and many thanks to the neighbors who pulled together to help get our horses out of harms way. On a good note, new growth is already apparent, so hopefully before too long things will be back as they were.

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