Lawton_If you've looked towards Fort Sill lately, you've surely seen the clouds of smoke - but, there's no need to worry, they're actually setting fires to prevent future ones. It may seem a bit counterproductive, but it works. 7News watched the crews at the Fort Sill Range while they were at work.
There have been several controlled range fires this fall - some come from firing rounds and others are preventative fires. The sky make look orange - but it's a wildfire, much like the fire from two years ago at Medicine Park. And, crews at Fort Sill are making sure something like this doesn't happen again.
"If you're driving along a boundary road you'll over across the post onto the post side and you'll see this dirt road, it's actually not a road it's a fire break," says Captain Clint Langford from the Fort Sill Fire Department. There's no brush to catch fire because the dirt road stops the flames.
They also create preventative fires that burn down all brush that can easily catch fire. If a fire were to get out of control, there is another way they can get a handle on it. "Back fires along the boundaries on our created fire breaks to stop the fire from leaving the installation," says Langford.
In previous years, the wildfire season started much earlier, but this year is a little different. "Since we're about two months behind due to the nice green vegetation we've had this year is we really have to consider winds," Langford says. And Langford says the reason we're seeing more range fires on post recently is because of increased missions. "With the increased missions we have and the training we have here on this installation, the artillery mission creates fires," he says.
If you live near post, there's no need to worry - authorities have it under control. "Any time a fire is started they notify range control, who in turn notifies the fire department," says Langford. And they're always creating new fire breaks - which is good news. It will help out homes near Flowermound and Trail Roads.