The Woodward News

Local News

July 5, 2012

Fireworks cause dozens of fires

Over 20 fires in Woodward County on July 4

Woodward, Okla. — The Fourth of July holiday kept Woodward area firefighters busy throughout the night as fireworks ignited multiple fires across the county.

Todd Finley, assistant fire chief, said since July 1 there has been 32 grass fires in Woodward County caused by fireworks.  But the vast majority of those fires occurred on the night of July 4.

There were a total of 22 fires on Independence Day, Finley said, with most occurring between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.

"There were more fires than we had resources to send to fires," he said. "This year was a bad year."

Finley said they had to call for help from several area fire departments, with men and units sent from Mooreland, Sharon, Mutual, Fort Supply, Fargo, the Ellis County Strike Team and Harper County.

Three of the biggest fires occurred on Hanks Trail by the Church of Christ, north on Highway 34 and on Trunkline Road which was actually in Ellis County, he said.

"The one over by the Church of Christ was really concerning us because the amount of potential structures (that could be damaged)," he said.

The assistant fire chief said efforts to extinguish these larger fires were somewhat hampered because units had to be sent out to fight several other smaller fires before returning to the bigger blazes.

"It caused a lot of problems trying to coordinate the amount of vehicles to the amount of calls," Finley said.

CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LIABILITIES POSSIBLE

Many of the fires were started by county roads and state highways, Finley said, noting that it is illegal to shoot fireworks off from roadways.  He said they also received many reports of people shooting fireworks off into fields, which then caught on fire.  The assistant fire chief said that is considered arson, and those who were responsible could potentially face criminal charges.

While it is unrealistic to think every case will be prosecuted, he said officials do have tag numbers, vehicle descriptions and even names in some cases that will be turned over to the Woodward County Sheriff's Office for further investigation.

Finley said another thing to remember is that if a fire is started on your property and spreads to someone else's, it will not be considered a crime but you could still be held liable through a civil case.

Text Only
Local News
  • Enrollment dates set for schools

    With school quickly approaching, it is time to get your enrollment information in and Woodward Public Schools have set their enrollment and other key dates.

    July 30, 2014

  • Marijuana petition attracting signatures

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Medical marijuana may be the state’s newest gateway drug — to voting.

    July 30, 2014

  • Glow run scheduled in Alva

    ALVA--A popular new trend in running is coming to Woods County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Boy, 7, drowns in weekend accident

    A seven-year-old boy died over the weekend when he fell into a swimming pool at a private residence in the Wheatridge addition, according to Woodward police reports.

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission OKs grader financing

    Monday morning in their weekly meeting, Woodward County Commissioners approved the financing on a new John Deere motor grader and discussed in detail the upcoming County Officers and Deputies Association meeting the county will host this October.

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal reached to improve veterans' health care

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Western Plains sets school supplies drive

     As the beginning of the school year approaches, so does the need for new school supplies.

    July 29, 2014

  • Area woman recovering from West Nile

    It wasn’t too many years ago when West Nile Virus was a scary word everyone hoped never happened to them and most of the time, that was true.

    July 27, 2014

  • Dedication set for art pieces

    Woodward’s collection of public art pieces will grow by two this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • ‘Support YOUR Cause Tour’ making stop in Woodward

    A musician is looking to raise $5,000 at an upcoming local concert.
    But Scott Helmer isn't raising the money for himself.  He is hoping to collect money to help support the Woodward Arts Theatre.

    July 26, 2014