In just a nine hour period of time on July 4th and the early morning of July 5th, Guymon Firefighters responded to seven reported fires. All were found to be started by careless handling or supervision of fireworks.
The first grass fire of the weekend took place on Saturday, July 3rd at 3:34pm in the area of 24th and Hurliman Road. Children lighting fireworks started an adjacent grass lot where horses normally were kept. Fortunately the land owner did not have horses there at the time. The fire burned nearly an acre before firefighters gained control and extinguished the fire. "Sparks from the fireworks were carried by the high winds which lead to the start of this fire", said Assistant Fire Chief Grant Wadley.
The July 4th fire activity started in the later evening time with the first fire reported at 8:19pm. Fire fighters were called to the area between the baseball field and softball fields at the Guymon High School. A small grass was fire started by careless fireworks discarded in dry thick grass behind right field of the Asa Howard baseball field. The fire was extinguished just before fire department arrival by the Guymon Babe Ruth Sr. baseball team members that were practicing and noticed the fire behind the field.
The next several fire calls began at 10:43pm starting at 312 S. Oklahoma. A large amount of firework debris started on fire in the street in which Firefighters had to extinguish. The next city response was to the 2600 block of Palomino at 1:20am. As fire units were arriving to this fire, citizens reported an additional dumpster fire 1 block over behind 417 NE 26th street. With two separate fires at the same time, 2 fire engines and 2 separate firefighter teams were used to handle both fires. Both fires were found to be started by fireworks that were disposed of improperly. Again at 2:20am, firefighters were called to the 1300 block of north Beaver where they found a large firework debris pile in the street burning. Firefighters were quick to extinguish the pile and open the roadway.
At the same time fire units were handling calls in the city limits, Guymon firefighters were called to a reported large grass fire west of Optima on the south side of Hwy 54. At 10:55pm, 2 fire units, 1 command unit, and 2 tankers responded from Guymon. The fire was on the west city limits of Optima on open dry grass land. Approximately 1-2 acres burned before firefighters gained control of the fire. Gusty winds at 25-30mph hampered putting this fire out and slowed traffic down to a crawl due to the heavy smoke conditions crossing the highway. At 11:47pm as firefighters were finishing with the west side grass fire, another grass fire was reported on the east side of Optima near the intersection of Hwy 54 & Lincoln. "This fire was quickly contained and controlled by fire units since they were only 4 blocks away from the first fire when they were called", said Wadley. 2 fire units from Optima and 2 units from Guymon extinguished this fire before it could spread any further.
"There were no reports of injuries or structural damage at any of these fires, but July 4th has the largest potential for these to occur during the year", stated Wadley. In a 24 hours period of July 4th, Guymon Fire Department responded to a total of 20 calls that were Fire and/or EMS related.