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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 Modified: August 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm •  Published: August 7, 2012

Luther fire

This is the second report of possible arson since the wildfires erupted Friday. The first involved the fire that started Friday in Luther in Oklahoma County.

County officials continues to look for a white male seen driving a 2008 black Ford F-150 pickup with red lettering on the side.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel asks anyone with information about this suspect to email ocsocrimetips@oksheriff.org or call or text 259-6276.

While many homes and structures were destroyed by the wildfires, one body was pulled Saturday from the ashes of a home in east Norman.

The state medical examiner has confirmed the body is that of an adult but hasn't identified the victim, spokeswoman Amy Elliott said.

If the death is the result of an arson fire, criminal charges would depend on the degree of arson, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

“If (a person) set a field on fire and someone died, it wouldn't necessarily be first-degree, felony murder because that is only for first-degree arson, setting an occupied house on fire,” Mashburn said.

Mashburn said the degrees of arson are first degree, which is setting an occupied residence on fire; second degree, which is setting an unoccupied residence on fire; and third degree, which is setting fire to everything else like a vehicle or a field.

While central Oklahoma saw some relief with scattered thunderstorms Tuesday, fire danger weather will continue across parts of the state through Saturday, according to the state Department of Emergency Management.

Contributing: Staff Writers Robert Medley and

Andrew Knittle

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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