Comanche County Firefighters Prepare for Heavy Fire Season

COMANCHE CO., Okla_ As Comanche County Emergency Manager Clint Wagstaff expected, firefighters were called into action Tuesday to a fire in the county. It is believed to have been started by a discarded cigarette.

Geronimo volunteer firefighters were called to a small roadside grassfire at Southwest Tinney and Sheridan Road, and they say they're hoping it's not the start of a busy fire season.

Firefighters said since the start of summer, they've been on edge, anticipating fire calls not only within their city limits, but also outside. They say when they're called out, the majority of their runs are made while assisting other departments.

"You couldn't see the fire, but you could see a little bit of smoke coming around," Geronimo Volunteer Firefighter Jeff Robinson said.

He said unfortunately, if history repeats itself, you'll see firefighters out in full force.

"With the 4th of July being a little over a week away, it probably won't be the last one we get anytime soon. I hope it is," Robinson said.

Usually on this holiday, they are battling fires that were unintentionally set.

"They just want to enjoy the holidays a little bit," Robinson said. "They're not being as careful as they should be."

He said last year around this time, the Geronimo VFD was called to 18 fires. Robinson said while things do look a little greener for firefighters, looks can be deceiving. .

"With color like this, we are no where near where we should be," Robinson said.

He said as of now, green on top doesn't mean the same for what's on bottom. He said without the moisture they need, firefighters could be faced with a long season ahead of them.

"Long days, long nights, and you could be out 30 minutes on one to a couple hours, which has been the story for us before," Robinson said.

So far, firefighters were not able to determine the exact cause of Tuesday's fire, but they say it may have been ignited by a discarded cigarette. In all, they say it burned about half a mile of land, and the only thing that kept it from spreading quickly were tilled crops surrounding it.