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Dog days could lead to wildfires

Lawton_It's another hot day in southwest Texoma and temperatures in the triple digits have a lot of people worried for their health.  Monday 7News told you about the risk of hyperthermia, or heat stroke.  Now, we want to warn you about another possible danger to you and your home from these skyrocketing temperatures.

What can lead to a deadly fire in this heat?  Dry, cut grass sitting in the hot sun can easily ignite and cause a wildfire.  "It's two-fold.  Obviously with all the rain that we had, we were very fortunate for a long time but there's a lot of additional growth in wild land areas," says Chief Bart Hadley from the Lawton Fire Department.  He says there's more vegetation than we would usually have this time of year, and it can dry out pretty quickly in this kind of heat; just about anything can cause it to ignite.

"The majority of times is just people not being careful," he says, Like throwing a cigarette into dry grass or a field.  As hot as it's been, it could set a fire in a matter of minutes.  But, there are some things we can do to prevent summertime blazes.  Chief Hadley says to keep trees and grass trimmed and yards watered.  "The greener you can keep your yard and plants and those kinds of things the less likely they are to help fire spread," he says.

If temperatures continue to rise, the city may have to take other safety measures.  "We're not under a burn ban at this time but if conditions continue and we don't get any rain, it certainly is a possibility," says Hadley.  So, be careful this summer.  Remember, if you think it's hot now, just think about the firefighters in all their turnout gear.

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