Oklahoma Needs Extra Manpower For Wildfires
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Forestry Services have called in extra manpower to fight wildfires.
Michelle Finch-Walker is working 12 hours per day to get information out for Forestry.
When Finch-Walker goes home, Jeannette Dreadfulwater takes over,
Dreadfulwater came all the way from Idaho to help out.
She’s one of 56 forestry employees brought in from out of state to help fight wildfires in Oklahoma this month.
“The decision was made that we might need to strengthen our forces,” Finch-Walker said.
That decision came after weather conditions contributed to fire risk.
“With the drought, grass is drying out and becoming what we call, ‘available fuel,’” Finch-Walker said.
That fuel, combined with spring winds helps fires spread.
While responding to fires is nothing new for the extra manpower, Oklahoma itself presents some challenges for the visitors.
“For this, it’s an area with a lot of people. Normally, when we’re responding to wildfire in the area I’m from, it’s not highly populated,” Dreadfulwater said.
Forestry Services says people can help by limiting personal fire risks.
Burn bans are in effect in a number of Oklahoma counties.
“If you see smoke, smell smoke, think there’s a fire, call 911,” Finch-Walker said.