Fire-prone trees multiplying in Oklahoma

Wednesday, May 27th 2009, 12:32 pm
By: News 9

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) -- A variety of tree blamed for contributing to the spread of wildfires last month in Oklahoma has been creeping its way into the state for decades.
   Conservancy officials say red cedar trees were once uncommon in the state, but can now be found on 9 million acres of rangeland and forestland in Oklahoma. Researchers found red cedars taking up only 1.5 million acres in Oklahoma in the 1950s.
   The trees can contribute to the spread of wildfires because they can explode when they catch fire, sending embers floating into the air.
   Because of the danger, an Edmond man is leading a charge to clear red cedar trees from the area surrounding Arcadia Lake.