Risk for grass fires increases


    Oklahoma City Fire Department has a greater awareness for grass fires with a change in weather. (KOKH)

    With warmer weather and an increase in winds, grass fire calls began coming in to the Oklahoma City fire Department on Sunday.

    Major Derrick Kiel with the Oklahoma City Fire Department said it's something they are always ready for.

    "We have to be ready, really, any time of year as our grass fire season isn't as clearly defined as it used to be," Kiel said. "So there's always a chance for a pretty sizable grass fire."

    But conditions began to change over the weekend, which Kiel said increases the chance for a grass fire.

    "We have the dead, dormant vegetation during the winter time so it's dried out," Kiel said. "So even the smallest grass fire can really take off and grow on us."

    Kiel said these fires can cause the department to use a lot of its resources.

    You want to follow extra precautions to make sure the weather doesn't contribute to a fire starting.

    "To dispose of ashes properly," Kiel said. "That is when they are absolutely cold, cool to the touch. We see a lot of fires tend to start because of improperly disposed ashes from fire pits, fire places, things like that."

    Other possible sources of a grass fire are from cooking, cigarettes and overgrown grass and vegetation. Kiel said these prevention tips are something the public needs to take seriously.

    "We're constantly trying to push our message," Kiel said. "We've been trying to push our message on social media, obviously word of mouth. When we're out in the public, we stop and talk to our citizens."

    Overall, the fire department said grass fires can be unpredictable so it's best to prevent them by following the safety guidelines.

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