A flat tire on a semi trailer is suspected to be the cause of a series of grass fires extending from near Wetumka to Pharoah Friday afternoon.
grass fireSparks from the rim on the pavement are believed to have ignited the brittle, tinder-dry grass along the road that quickly spread into neighboring fields.
Firefighters from Weleetka, Wetumka, Henryetta, Okemah and other volunteer departments fanned out across the pastures trying to contain the flames.
“Thankfully the wind is not a strong as it has been in recent days,” said Henryetta fire chief David Bullard. The 8-mile-per-hour wind was blowing from the west at the time of the fire.
There are a number of houses, barns and other out buildings along the fire line but none were reported to have been damaged.
Some of the fire line was in heavy wooded areas that made it difficult for firefighters to get to.
Bullard said this is the kind of situation that he and other firemen have been dreading for several weeks.
“We have not had any measurable rain for over a month and the pastures are thoroughly dried out. This area has been fortunate for the most part.”
Earlier this week, a grass fire broke out northwest of Clearview but no significant damage was caused.
Henryetta firemen were able to extinguish a pasture fire just west of town that blackened about ten acres.
“Until we get a good, soaking rain, people need to really use a lot of caution,” Bullard said. “