Firefighters Warn Drivers Against Driving Through Smoke

Saturday, March 12th 2016, 10:45 pm
By: News 9

It may be starting to rain, but firefighters will tell you that doesn't mean they're off the hook. They want to warn people about another danger that's really putting them at risk.

"We're getting winds of 30 miles an hour.”

Fueling the flames, but also something else that's deceptively just as dangerous.

"Heavy black smoke."

And believe it or not, some people drive through the smoke without knowing what's on the other side.

"I didn't see him, and hit the truck, and that's all I knew,” Jonathan Curb said.

He had no idea there was a truck just ahead that he couldn't see, let alone a firefighter he hit.

"I thought, 'It's not too bad.' But then I thought, 'No. Maybe it's bad. Maybe we shouldn't do it.' But we did it, and I paid the price,” Curb said.

The firefighter’s injuries are not life-threatening, but it's one of two times a firefighter was run over by a motorist just within the last few weeks.

"They tend to drive through the smoke, and it puts firefighters at a high risk,” Perkins fire Chief Craig Hannan said.

And it’s a problem.

"Vehicles drove through the smoke which they should not do, and struck firefighters who were performing their duties,” he said.

It happened near Lone Grove as well as in northeastern Oklahoma.

News 9: "So these are people who are just driving along and maybe being nosy or get closer to the fire?"

"Well, probably all of the above,” Hannan said.

Springtime brings a lot of elements to Oklahoma including storm season and wildfires, and now those who fight them hope a little more caution.

"We've had the high winds here in Oklahoma. The humidity has been low. The vegetation is dry, and so if any fire starts the conditions are ripe for rapid fire growth,” Hannan said.

Neither of the firefighters were seriously hurt, but it's most certainly something to keep in mind while encountering smoke while driving.