Neighbors Complain About Firefighting Resources In Logan County

Monday, May 5th 2014, 8:02 pm
By: Karl Torp

We are learning more about the challenges crews first faced when the massive Guthrie fire sparked Sunday afternoon.

"They were running out of water, there just wasn't enough supply," says Julie Harvey whose mother-in-law lost her home off Seward Road in Logan County.

5/5/2014 Related Story: More Residents Evacuated As Logan Co. Grass Fire Rekindles

Down the street, neighbors says they wish firefighters were quicker in their response.

"I kept calling 911. They kept saying we'll send a truck, we'll send a truck," said Judy Baker to State Insurance Commissioner John Doak who visited her home Monday.

By the time a fire truck arrived at Baker's home the place was engulfed.

State Emergency Management says it learned about the fire at 4:30 Sunday. The order for water dropping Blackhawks from Lexington, Oklahoma didn't come until Monday morning.

"It's not as easy to ramp up a helicopter crew and they'll be ready in minutes with the National Guard," says State Director of Emergency Management Albert Ashwood.

Ashwood says it can take two hours to get a crew and night water drops are not an option. Despite three hours and 45 minutes of a daylight after the fire sparked, helicopters remained on the ground.

Including the two new UH-72 Lakotas, which can also drop water. All day Sunday they remained in a hangar at Will Rogers Airport.

4/15/2014 Related Story: OK National Guard Choppers To Help Squash Future Wildfires