Firefighters warn of control burn risks

Firefighters warn of control burn risks

COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - Fighting fires in the summer heat can be exhausting for those battling some of the recent grass and structure fires in our local area and across southwest Oklahoma. They can also be destructive if they get out of hand, and that's why fire officials recommend residents starting any type of controlled burn to do their part to help.

Fire officials recommend, if you plan on starting a controlled burn, one of the first things they'd like you to do is contact your local fire department that way they can inspect the property and make sure it's safe.

Before you start the fire, they that ask land owners to contact fire dispatch.

"They're going to ask them for a phone number. They are going to make sure that they are going to monitor that fire because they don't want them to light the fire and go home," said Cache Fire Chief Dale Winham.

That helps ensure that there's a close eye on it, and to make sure firefighters can get out there as quickly as possible because the quicker they get out there the quicker they get it controlled.

"We don't like waking up at three o'clock in the morning with the sky in flames from a fire that was started earlier that day but unattended and now the winds got up and not it's moving into fresh fuel," said Winham.

Chief Winham says land owners should also keep a water hose or a fire extinguisher nearby so they can quickly get a spark out before it gets out of control.  He says they also discourage pouring lots of gasoline on their controlled burns.

"Because the fuel vapors could ignite the minute it becomes into a flame contact resulting into injuries into that home owner or farmer that's burning. So, try to use a lower combustible type chemical, diesel and things like that, kerosene to start those fires. Think fire safety at all times," said Winham.

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