Dry weather conditions cause concern for grass fires

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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII)-- High winds and low humidity will make this week a dangerous week for grass fires.

"It's very scary, in some ways even terrifying," Cattle rancher Ryan Schafer said. "Because you're up a creek so to speak, you can't do anything about it."

Schafer lives off Kings Road near Prairie Valley Road, and says a large grass fire came within a mile of his home just last month.

"The fire had basically taken the whole horizon to the East of us, and it was a large enough fire that it came very close to jumping the road and getting us." Schafer said.

Ardmore Fire and other departments were able to get the fire out with no injuries or loss of homes, but Commander Rhett Hale says the right conditions have made this a very dangerous grass fire season.

"We haven't had rain in quite a while, and stuff is getting extremely dry and the humidity is dropping every day, and we're having high winds," Hale said. "So that's a bad combination for grass fires."

He says the biggest dangers come from the road.

"If you're pulling some type of trailer, just make sure everything is good and secure so you're not going to be dragging anything that's going to create sparks," Hale said. "If you have a blow out or a flat tire, pull over, don't drive on your rim because that creates sparks."

And from open fires, like from burning leaves or campsites.

"Keep a good clear area away from where you're burning. Again, try to keep a water hose present," Hale said. "And just keep and eye, and don't leave the fire until you're sure its completely out."

Advice Schafer hopes people listen to, for the sake of homeowners like himself.

"We've built a home here, not just a house, but a home," Schafer said. "We've built up a lot of memories here, and there's just no way to recreate what you've built."

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