wildfires

Courtesy Cherokee Nation Wildland Fire Program

The Cherokee Nation has deployed members of its Wildland Fire Management team to assist Indian nations in Western states battle this season's wildfires.

"The suppression program goes all over the United States helping with fires," said program coordinator DeWayne Chuckluck during a Friday phone interview. "They could be East Coast, West Coast, it really doesn't matter. When other tribes request help and we've got some people available, we'll actually send people there."

Our guest is Zach St. George, a science reporter who has written for The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Outside, among other publications. He joins us to discuss his new book, "The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future." The book offers an up-close examination of forest migration, and moreover presents a sort of "group portrait" of the people studying the forests of the past, those protecting the forests of the present, and those planting the forests of the future.

Our guests are the journalists Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano, who are also the co-authors of "Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy." The book documents the super-destructive wildfire that consumed the town of Paradise, California, in early November of 2018, when a community of 27,000 people was swallowed by the ferocious Camp Fire. "Fire in Paradise" offers a moving, far-reaching narrative based upon hundreds of interviews with residents, firefighters and police, and scientific experts.

Wildfire Relief Update

Sep 10, 2012
KWGS News File photo

It has been a month since wildfires swept through Creek County destroying nearly 400-homes. The clock is ticking on a matching grant offer to help the Red Cross. The grant comes from the Loebeck-Taylor Foundation.

Elizabeth Frame Ellison is the executive director.  She says there are two weeks left on the grant offer. She is pleased with donations to date. You may make a donation at any Bank of Oklahoma location or send a check to the American Red Cross in Tulsa.

The foundation is that of former Mayor Kathy Taylor and her husband Bill Loebeck.

Samatha Robbins

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin has requested federal disaster aid for four Oklahoma counties where wildfires have erupted in recent weeks.

Fallin sought the aid Monday for residents and business owners in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma and Payne counties. If granted, the government would deliver individual assistance to residents who suffered losses.

Nearly 680 homes and businesses were damaged in the fires that began on July 28, including 603 homes that were destroyed. About 85 percent of the homes damaged or destroyed were not insured.

School Year Begins in Fire Ravaged Mannford

Aug 13, 2012
File photo

This is the first day for teachers in the Mannford School District to report for duty. It was just over a week ago that a huge wildfire swept through the community. It is estimated that 70-students in the district lost their homes in the fires along with five staff members.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Forestry Services is warning of an increasing potential for extreme wildfires across the state.

State Forester George Geissler says conditions for wildfires to get out of control are increasing because of dry grasslands and hayfields coupled with the ongoing drought, heat and strong winds.

The agency says today will be especially dangerous with the fire danger very high the western half of the state and high in the eastern half.

The agency advises that fires can be started by common activities such as mowing the lawn or baling hay.

OOLOGAH, Okla. (AP) — Firefighters had to battle the heat as well as a large grass fire near Oologah in northeast Oklahoma.

A firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion at a hospital and four others were treated at the scene for heat exposure Thursday afternoon. A woman answering the phone at the North West Rogers County Fire Department says the firefighters weren't seriously hurt.

The woman, who wouldn't identify herself, said firefighters were "mopping up" at the site of the blaze Thursday evening. She says no homes were damaged or had to be evacuated.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say dry and windy weather will keep Oklahoma vulnerable to wildfires over the next couple of days. The National Weather Service says strong gusts will make it easy for any fires that start Tuesday and Wednesday to spread. Forecasters say that by Thursday, significant rain chances should dampen the threat somewhat. On Monday, a number of fires spread in northeast Oklahoma. One fire burned in Okmulgee, Creek County and northern Tulsa Counties. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Another warm, windy day could mean another active day of wildfires in Oklahoma. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire warning for 16 counties in far western Oklahoma for noon to 7 p.m. Monday. Besides temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees statewide, southerly winds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts and a low relative humidity in the 15 to 20 percent range are expected in the warning area. Forecasters warned that any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Despite recent rainfall, grass and other vegetation remains dormant and dry.