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Oklahoma wildfires: Six wildfires in Cleveland County suspicious, fire chief says

Oklahoma wildfires: Arsonist also may be responsible for a Monday wildfire in Payne County wildfire.
by Andrew Knittle and Robert Medley and LeighAnne Manwarren Modified: August 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm •  Published: August 7, 2012

As law enforcement agencies continued to investigate two reports of arson, fire officials said Tuesday a number of the state's wildfires appear to be suspicious.

At least six of the southeast Cleveland County wildfires are suspicious in nature, Norman Fire Chief James Fullingim said.

“We have no suspect descriptions, no eyewitnesses,” Fullingim said. “But we have ... two fires occurring simultaneously within one mile of each other ... with no natural cause noticed.”

The state fire marshal's office was called to help investigate the cause of the fires that burned at least 100 structures and 7,900 acres in Cleveland County.

“At this time, and this is subject to change, it is suspicious,” Assistant State Fire Marshal JoAnne Sellars said.

Fullingim said Norman police officers and Cleveland County deputies will patrol rural east Norman and surrounding towns, the scene of many wildfires since Friday.

Anyone with information can call the fire marshal's office at (800) 522-8666 or call the Norman Police Department at 321-1444.

Payne County

Officials in Payne County are investigating a report of an arsonist who may have started a wildfire that burned Monday near Cushing.

Investigators are trying to find the driver of a red pickup seen near the spot where a wildfire started Monday afternoon, Capt. Kevin Woodward said.

“It is certainly a vehicle of interest,” Woodward said. “We're certainly investigating everything, and we're trying to follow leads.”

The driver was described as a white male in his late teens to early 20s, who was alone in a red compact pickup.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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by LeighAnne Manwarren
Breaking News Reporter
LeighAnne Manwarren is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and weather for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. An Oklahoma City native, Manwarren is a University of Oklahoma journalism alum and has interned for The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette,...
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