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
  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014

  • Red Cross seeking additional volunteers

    The Red Cross is currently looking for volunteers in Woodward and the surrounding areas.

    July 20, 2014

  • Changes in military surplus program still causing some problems

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years.

    July 20, 2014

  • Love for Dr. Waddell easy to see

    Doctor Donald Waddell is known by many names by many people.

    July 20, 2014 1 Video

  • AAA offers some tips on fuel mileage

    With gas prices still high, drivers need every bit of help they can get on saving money and saving the gas itself.

    July 18, 2014

  • New director for historic site

    Historic Fort Supply has added a new House to its facilities.
    Shayne House is the new site director for the historic fort grounds.  He replaces former site director Bob Rea who retired from the position in March after 23 years with the site.

    July 18, 2014

  • Benefit set for area man

    In early June, when 30-year-old Tra Snider noticed his back hurt, he didn’t think much about it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Hodgden named state finalist

    Woodward Teacher of the Year, Monica Hodgden has been named as a finalist in the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year competition.

    July 18, 2014

  • Panel discussions big part of oil and gas convention

    For its third event in as many years, the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention is hoping to expand its already vast reach by securing the attendance of local producers and oil service companies, as well as companies throughout the state who stand to make valuable connections and learn of the latest technologies in the industry.

    July 18, 2014