90,000 tons of cottonseed burned in Jackson County fire

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - Smoke is still billowing from a grain elevator in Jackson County. Officials now say more than 90,000 tons of cottonseed have burned.

As the cotton seed continues to burn, Friendship Fire Chief Marty Clinton said they've turned their attention to the smoke it's creating.

"We're trying to get enough water on this fire to slow it down, we're concerned about the smoke crossing the highway, affecting the town and all of our residents. That's what we're most concerned about is trying to suppress the smoke and get it reduced for our citizens," Clinton said.

Much of southwest Oklahoma is under extreme fire danger but few areas have seen as many major fires in the last week as Jackson County.

"It's just bad luck right now, that's the only thing I can think of. We're getting a lot off the highway, that could be someone throwing out cigarette butts, dragging chains. Someone could be welding, it could be anything. Right now, we just have bad luck and the relative humidity is four-percent. It's so dry out here we haven't had rain. I can't quote you the time, but it's been well over 60 days," Jackson County Emergency Manager Erik Mowbray said.

Mowbray said crews are very tired but until we get some rain, they will have to remain alert and ready to spring into action but, he said their jobs have been much easier thanks to the community. Mowbray said several farmers in the area have dropped off semis full of water, allowing them to refill their trucks without ever having to leave the scene.

"They are doing an excellent job, they follow us everywhere we go. I can't imagine what we would do without them," Mowbray said.

"The farmers are great, they're taking care of us, they're helping in any way they can. They're supplying water, we've got citizens bringing drinks and food. The Red Cross is always helpful, they have kept us supplied and I just can't say enough about them," Clinton said

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