OT: YouTube footage of Love County Wildfire

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
March 1, 2009

This is off-topic, but you might find it interesting if you have never seen the footage from a wildfire tearing through the cross timbers grassy plains which have lots of brush and trees to fuel a fire. Once you've viewed a little of the footage, maybe you'll understand why I try to always post Fire Weather Watch, Red Flag Fire Warning and other fire danger notices here.....you don't ever want to see this kind of fire approaching your home.

You can see 16 minutes of footage (one or two or three minutes might be more than enough to give you an idea of what it was like) taken during the earlier stages of our 2500 acre wildfire last week. It is on You Tube at Youtube.com, and I found it by searching for the words "Love County OK wildfire".

You click on the one that says something like "Not a tornado but still a major threat", and there is a description that says "A massive plume of smoke rises from a rural wildfire near Oswalt Road in Love County."

My husband showed it to a lot of his co-workers at D-FW Airport yesterday and many of them were stunned by how large it was, which made me think that a lot of people have no idea how big and bad a wildfire can be here. So, I thought I'd tell you that you can see the video at Youtube if you want to view it.

To truly get an idea of the scope of the fire, remember that the YouTube portion is 16 minutes and the actual fire burned heavily for at least 10-12 hours and firefighters were at the scene from about 3 p.m. Thursday until about 6 p.m. Friday, and then were back out sporadically on Friday night and all day Saturday as hot spots flared up again.

I wish the guy who'd shot footage had gotten some of the 100' tall fire tornadoes that the firefighters were seeing (he was too far away to record them I think) or some of the night-time footage when trees were totally aflame.

And, no, most of our grassfires do not turn into wildfires like this, but a certain percentage of them do.

Love County firefighters and residents are, by the way, exceedingly grateful to the 20+ fire depts. that came from as far away as Purcell and Norman to help us. I remember seeing trucks from Purcell, Wayne, Payne, Battle Axe, Washington, Cedar Country, Dibble, Norman, Ardmore, Ringling, Lone Grove, and Lexington but there were oodles of others. Counting the Love County Fire Depts. that were able to respond (others were at two different fires), we had about 33 fire depts. on the scene, including our friends from the BIA.

All of us Oklahomans should be proud to live in a state where firefighters will drive over 100 miles at a moment's notice to help someone else.


Comments (2)

  • okmike

    Thank goodness for our rural fire departments

    Every gardner should give them a basket of home grown items

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7


    I agree. I don't know what we'd do without them.

    This weekend, when I watched footage on the news of the Bastrop-Smithville, TX area wildfire where around 30 homes, a dozen or more businesses, and a couple of dozen outbuildings were lost, my heart just broke for those who lost everything they owned.

    I still am in awe of the fact that our firefighters kept the Love County fire from burning homes. (A couple of barns were lost.) The firefighters literally raced from one home to the next, arriving just in time to keep the homes from burning. Even though the homes were saved, many people lost cattle grazing lands, fruit trees, shade trees, garden areas, home landscaping, outbuildings, etc. However, I know they feel so fortunate to still have their homes.

    I also still am in awe of the fact that firefighters came from Purcell, Norman and all kinds of fire depts. in those areas. The fact that volunteers would come so far to help us brought many people to the point of tears. I don't think those firefighters will ever know how deeply touched we Love Countians were by their response to our local emergency.

    We've had several grass fires since then and undoubtedly will have more this fire season, but that was the worst one most people here have ever seen--including several professional firefighters who have 20, 30 or more years' firefighting experience. One retired professional firefighter (33 years of professional service, and is still a volunteer many years after retirement) told me he personally observed "fire tornadoes" he estimated at 100' tall within the burning area. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

    We are grateful that the fire was stopped and homes were not lost--in fact, the word "grateful" doesn't seem big enough for how thankful we are. It takes a special breed of person to put their life on the line to fight wildfires and we're so fortunate to have folks who are willing to do that.


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