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Firefighters Prepare For Potentially High Fire Risks This Fall

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Fire crews in Guthrie are checking and double-checking their equipment, trying to make sure they're prepared for a potentially busy season ahead. Fire crews in Guthrie are checking and double-checking their equipment, trying to make sure they're prepared for a potentially busy season ahead.
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -

Fire crews in Guthrie are checking and double-checking their equipment, trying to make sure they're prepared for a potentially busy season ahead.

This year, firefighters expect to get a lot of use out of their brush trucks battling wildfires.

“We got so much rain in the summer, even continuing into August, that our fuel load is so much taller than it normally is this time of year,” Guthrie fire Chief Eric Harlow said.

The heavy load of fuels is now drying out, becoming more dangerous without any rain.

“Anytime it’s hot like that and the humidity starts dropping and the winds pick up like we’re going to have tomorrow and on into Monday, it’s a perfect situation for us to get wildfires that grow pretty rapidly,” Harlow added.

More than a year ago, a deadly wildfire ripped through Logan County, destroying homes and charring thousands of acres.

This year's spring and summer rains turned that burned land back into overgrown brush.

“The higher the fuel load, the more intense the fire is going to be,” he said. “We can’t get in front of it quite as easy when the flames are that intense.”

But there's still time to get ready for the driest part of the year when fuel sparked by any ignition source could become a fast-moving, life-threatening fire.

“All we can do is encourage our homeowners and residents are here to take these last few weeks or so of good weather, get out there and trim that brush away from your house or outbuildings or other storage areas and mow your grass down a couple more times before it dies off for the winter,” Harlow told News 9.

On top of that, fire crews hope people will play it safe this season by being careful not to throw cigarettes out the window or cause any kind of spark near dry grasses.

The only burn ban in effect in Oklahoma at the time of this report is McCurtain County. However, fire crews hope people will talk with them before burning in any part of the state this time of year.

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