Oklahoma fire officials warn California like wild fires could happen here

A still frame of the wildfires burning in California. Dry fall conditions in Oklahoma could increase the fire danger. (FILE)

It is starting to get into Oklahoma's fall and winter fire season and as fires tear through parts of California fire officials want to remind Oklahomans that it can happen here.

"We need to be preparing now, for the possibility of having those types of fires here in Oklahoma," said Mark Goeller, the state fire management chief with the Oklahoma Forestry Service.

Homeowners should make sure grass is cut up to 30 feet away from the home, and remove all debris. They should also prevent leaves from piling up in the yard. In many cases, it's not approaching flames that cause a home to go up in smoke, it's embers that blow and land in and around homes that can spark a fire.

"What happens is after the first freeze, then all of the wild land fuels are dead and then we have a leaf fall so we have a tremendous amount of fuel on the ground that will be available to burn when the conditions are right," Goeller adds.

The amount and frequency of rain will be the main factor in determining the severity of the upcoming fire season.

"If we don't get that after the first freeze and we have up to two weeks that we have no rainfall then we can expect some severe fire outbreaks," said Goeller.

The Oklahoma Forestry Services tells FOX 25 they have not been called to assist crews in California yet but will go if needed.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off