OCFD Prepares For Continued Rash Of Wildfires - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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OCFD Prepares For Continued Rash Of Wildfires

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Oklahoma City Fire Department officials said brush pumpers are key to extinguishing grass fires. Oklahoma City Fire Department officials said brush pumpers are key to extinguishing grass fires.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Windy and dry weather in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area is creating perfect conditions for wildfires. Firefighters throughout Oklahoma City are staying extra vigilant and are preparing to send additional equipment to each report of outdoor flames.

Oklahoma City Fire Department officials said brush pumpers are key to extinguishing grass fires.

"We went to a heavier chassis on our brush pumpers that allowed us to add 100 more gallons of water to each apparatus," Battalion Chief Mike Walker said.

City-wide, there are 15 pumpers in service and 10 in reserve, according to fire department officials.

Walker said the department's mindset is to hit outdoor fires with overwhelming force during favorable wildfire conditions. That overwhelming force means sending at least two engines, two pumpers and a 3,500-gallon tanker to reported fire locations.

Firefighters will also wear different suits when fighting wildfires. Usually, Oklahoma City firefighters carry up to 85 pounds of gear to fight structural fires. A jumpsuit, weighing roughly 20 pounds, is all that's required for tackling wildfires. The jumpsuit allows firefighters to move freely across a wide area of land.

Prevention is the best line of defense. The U.S. Department of Interior recommends the following:

  • Reduce brush away from homes and buildings
  • Clean grass and debris out of exhaust systems
  • Keep vehicles off dry grass

As wildfires spread, local fire departments may request that the State of Oklahoma deploy National Guard helicopters to dump water from the air, using 500 to 1,000-gallon buckets.

Firefighters said if you see flames, do not assume someone else has called. Pick up the phone and dial 911.

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