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Fire Officials Warn Christmas Trees Become Fire Hazards After Holidays

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Fire officials said after the holidays, Christmas trees will dry out and can become an extreme fire hazard. Fire officials said after the holidays, Christmas trees will dry out and can become an extreme fire hazard.
Firefighters said they believe a Christmas tree caught on fire Tuesday, causing extensive damage to a northwest Oklahoma City home. Firefighters said they believe a Christmas tree caught on fire Tuesday, causing extensive damage to a northwest Oklahoma City home.

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Many people still have their Christmas trees still up, but fire officials are warning about the dangers of real Christmas trees after the holiday season.

It didn't take long for a two-story home to go up in flames on Tuesday. The homeowner called 911, saying he thought the Christmas tree had caught on fire.

Oklahoma City fire officials said firefighters respond to one or two decoration related fires during the holidays, but they said even that's one too many.

"You will see them a lot after Christmas," said Oklahoma City Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland.

When the real trees are drying out, fire officials said that's when they're the most dangerous, and it doesn't take much to spark a fire.

"So if somebody hasn't been watering their tree properly and taking care of it, caring for it, the tree will become extremely dry," Stanaland said.

Stanaland said those types of fires don't happen often, but when it happens, the results can be devastating.

Now the homeowners of Tuesday's fire are picking up the pieces of a fire that could have been prevented.

"Get it out of your house so that you won't be in danger of the tree catching fire," Stanaland said.

Residents in Oklahoma City can set out their Christmas trees on the curb on their big trash pick-up day.

In Edmond, trees can be taken to Mitch or Hafer Park through January 11, or residents can schedule a pickup during the week of January 3.

In Norman, trees will be picked up January 10 through 14.

If trees are over 6 feet tall, they need to be cut in half.

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