KEMP, OK -- A red flag warning has been declared for North Texas Monday, and fire danger is high across all of Texoma. The danger was evident in Kemp, OK where a grassfire charred hundreds of acres of farmland today.
About 200 acres scorched. Several fire departments worked against the wind to contain a quickly spreading fire.
"We got here and knew we needed more backup," says Jeremy Sizemore, the Kemp VFD chief.
Several area volunteer departments came to Kemp's aide, working first to make sure area homes were not in danger. Even volunteer firefighters who were at their jobs rushed over when they saw smoke, trying to extinguish flames with the shirts off their backs. Other neighbors helped any way they could.
"Me and my dad got out and tried to put a little bit of it out, the wind was blowing so hard we couldn't, just pushing everything back and getting it started," says Keenan Ervin, who lives about two miles from the scene.
Even after the fire was under control, dozens of hay bales were still engulfed. The best way to put them out: let some oxygen in and let it burn.
Firefighters say a trash pile from a nearby home is what sparked the blaze, but swift winds carried it across roads into fields.
They are issuing this warning:
"Don’t try to burn any brush or trash right now,” Sizemore says. “As dry as it is and the way the wind is, just don’t do any outside burning.”
Firefighters say thankfully no structures caught fire; only a few residents were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and released.