COMANCHE CO., OK (KSWO) - Local volunteer fire departments find themselves dealing with a rise in grass fires.
Multiple fire departments responded to a fire on Little Bear Loop just north of the Comanche Spur Casino on Highway 62 Thursday afternoon.
First Alert Meteorologist and Valley View firefighter Matt DiPirro said crews in Comanche County are starting to battle grass fires daily.
He said some areas haven't seen rain in a couple weeks, which is making it easier for these fires to start.
Valley View VFD wasn't called out to the Little Bear Loop fire, but Matt said they've been called out to several fires in the past week. He said the summer heat isn't on the department's side.
"Now, because the grasses are becoming more yellow and drying out, and the winds increasing like the past few days, we're seeing that those fires are starting to spread a little bit faster than even say a few days ago," Matt said.
He said most fires are started because of human error, but there are things people can do to make sure fire departments don't need to battle what started out as a controlled burn.
Matt first advised that people should stay with their fire at all times, adding that they should also have water or a fire extinguisher nearby – and if things start getting out of control, call 911.
"Don't wait until it's too late. Don't wait until it gets away from you because keep in mind, most of our departments here are volunteer…it takes several minutes to get people here, to get a truck to respond, so a fire can spread very quickly in just a short amount of time," Matt said.
He said putting these fires out adds up in costs. He encourages everyone to donate to their nearby volunteer fire department to help pay for the gas it takes to get out to these fires. They can also help by donating bottles of water.