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Wildfire Danger High, Just Around the Corner
Oklahoma is bracing for another dangerous fire season. Firefighters expect activity to increase in the next few weeks, as temperatures go up.
"As firefighters we're all concerned anytime we've had a dry period like we've had," Maj. Jim Williams with the Oklahoma City Fire Department said.
Williams said his firefighters are constantly training for the threat.
"For our guys its all about knowledge, skills and abilities to be able to perform when the tones go off," Williams said.
Oklahoma City Fire places brush pumpers in strategic locations across the city. Each firefighter is also issued special gear for wildland fire fights.
Firefighters say its important for everyone to do their part to prevent these fires. Williams encourages people to avoid any outdoor activity that could spark a fire, like working with some machinery in dry fields or throwing out lit cigarettes.
"We do encourage people to call 911 early. Don't try to put it out yourself, before calling 911- everyone has a cell phone these days," he said.
Increased rainfall could curb the threat, but Williams says an increase is not likely. Wildfire victims are also worried about the lack of moisture.
"The mild winter has been nice. Its been helpful so we can work, but it worries me," Steve Morse said. "I'm not sure I can take another hot summer like that."
Morse is in the process of rebuilding his home, after the August wildfire in Luther burned it down.
"We had these three little cabins that survived the fire and I could have just lived in those, but then there's just be an empty slab sitting around and I just couldn't live with that and let the fire win," Morse said.
Morse said he is luckier than others in Luther, who were affected by the fire. He said he is one of only a handful rebuilding, thanks to a Small Business Administration loan.
He is rebuilding, using more fireproof material and plans to put in a more defensive landscape around the house.
"If I can survive this, I think anyone can survive just about anything," Morse said.
Posted: Sunday, March 17 2013, 09:26 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Teen in devastated Okla. town handing out hugs
May 25, 2013 02:26 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- The people of the Oklahoma town where a deadly tornado struck could use just about everything -- cleaning supplies, food, water, shelter.
Thirteen-year-old Halle Carr thought residents of her hometown could also use a hug after the twister Monday that killed 24 people in Moore.
Halle has been standing on a corner with a white sign that reads: "Need a hug? I am here!" And people are taking her up on the offer.
On Friday, people in work trucks, cars and vans loaded with belongings rolled down their windows and reached out their arms to the girl. Some shouted words of encouragement.
Halle said it makes her feel good to spread a little cheer. She said she'll come out every day, as long as she thinks she's needed.
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