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Oklahoma fire marshal: Three wildfires were deliberately set in Cleveland County

Assistant State Fire Marshal JoAnne Sellars chatted with readers Thursday about recent suspicious wildfires in Cleveland County and safety precautions.
by Tiffany Gibson Modified: August 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm •  Published: August 9, 2012

photo - A car sits burned in a field in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla.
A car sits burned in a field in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla.

On wildfire ignition sources:

There is no one condition that we should look for to blame on the devastation from the accidental wildland fires. It is a combination of things and certainly the extreme dry conditions are a major factor.

Cigarettes get a lot of blame for starting fires but the reality is that most, if not all, cigarettes are "Fire Standard Compliant," and after a few minutes of not draggin on the cigarette the cherry with go out.

Typically the heat source of a cigarette requires several conditions in order to ignite vegetation; the fuel source must be dry and of fine or powdery substance.

On preventative measures and evacuation plans:

I would like to expand upon evacuation with a wildland fire. Don't forget that utilities may go down as a result of an on-coming fire, so do not count on one way to get evacuation report. Be prepared and have a plan in place before a fire threatens your home and family.

Moisture content is a good idea on lawns and plants. Tree branches should be far off from the ground. If not, cut the low branches off from the tree.

Remove combustibles, such as wood piles, remove leaves from gutters, use metal skirting on mobile homes, keep the grass cut short and remove any vegetation that is flammable.

Read the entire chat recap here.

by Tiffany Gibson
News Online Editor
Tiffany Gibson has worked for the Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the digital news team. In addition to writing and web editing, she also creates multimedia features for the website and maintains social media accounts. A Tennessee...
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