Liberal, KS

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Several Lightning Related Fires In Texas County

KSCB News - June 30, 2011 8:27 am

Tuesday night’s thunderstorms that rumbled across most of Texas County brought with them some much-needed rain. But the numerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes created a headache for county firefighters, who responded to numerous grass fires from one end of the county to the other.
Every county fire department was involved in fighting a grass fire at some point. Guymon was paged out three times, once to north Highway 136, but the rain had put that blaze out. The Guymon units went out to a false alarm at the Holiday Inn Express, and again at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday to help Yarbrough, Goodwell and Texhoma with a rekindle.
Yarbrough and Goodwell were out at 3 in the morning, Hooker went out to a fire near Straight School at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Tyrone went out multiple times for small grass fires west of town.
“Yarbrough went back out at 8:43 a.m. Wednesday with Goodwell and Texhoma again,” Guymon Fire Chief Clark Purdy said.
Just because it rained Tuesday night doesn’t mean the fireworks ban is lifted. Buying and discharging fireworks will result in jail time or a fine in the Guymon City limits this year. It’s also illegal to discharge fireworks anywhere in Texas County.
The lightning-sparked fires are an axample of what can happen.
“It truly is a matter of life and death,” said Guymon Police Chief Eddie Adamson. “We’re not out there trying to be bad guys, we’re out trying to save lives and property.”
The rainfall did nothing to ease the extreme drought gripping the Oklahoma Panhandle. Guymon Municipal Airport received 0.27 of an inch of rain. The city still stands below two inches for the entire year, which is about seven inches below normal for the calendar year. Dating back to September 2010, Guymon is about 10 inches below normal.
“The rain (Tuesday) did not diminish the danger at all,” Adamson said. “The sheriff told me that at one time they had fires from Texhoma to Tyrone. That speaks volumes of how dangerous this is.”

 

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