JACKSON CO., OK (KSWO) - Firefighters in Jackson County were busy Friday as they battled at least four fires in the Altus area.
Altus firefighters responded to the first fire around noon at a cotton gin east of Altus. Kyle Davis, Altus' Fire Chief, said last year's cotton seed caught fire – and officials estimate that the cotton gin fire will burn through $20,000,000 worth of seed and $90,000 worth of equipment.
"We're trying to get that under control," Davis said. "It's going to be smoking for a while."
Firefighters were pulled off that fire when another one started around 3:30 p.m. and threatened a structure north of Altus.
"One of my firemen that lives in the area, was driving by going to the Blare fire and saw this fire and that's how we got on it a lot quicker than normal," Davis said.
11 fire departments helped get the two fires north of town under control. The fire that threatened a structure burned a shed, but was put out before it got to the house. Meanwhile, the second fire, which burned on the north side of town, scorched around 75 to 100 acres.
Those weren't the only fires the department has been dealing with. Davis said they put out six small fires on Thursday. Jackson County is in a burn ban issued by the governor, so, Davis, along with the Emergency Manager, is warning everyone to be careful.
"We can't afford to do anything that might cause a spark," Davis said. "Yesterday, we had a fire by a guy just using a chop saw just a little spark, and it caused a fire and burned a shed and two or three other things. It just takes a minimal amount of spark."
Officials said there are things people can do to prevent accidentally starting a fire. They suggest drivers avoid dragging chains, throwing cigarettes out the window, and going through tall grass.