Fires break out despite warning
Following right on the heels of a red flag fire warning Tuesday morning, nearly every fire department in the county responded to two separate fires and fires were continuing to break out in other areas as wind gusts reached between 30 and 40 mph.
Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when major winds are expected and those winds quickly dry out vegetation even though there have been recent rains.
Fire departments from Brushy, Rocky Point, Central, Marble City, Sallisaw and the Forestry Service responded to a fire about 11:30 a.m. 10 miles north on U.S. Highway 59 at Ernest Salvage yard. Fire departments from Muldrow, Roland, Redland, and Gans responded to a large grass fire on North Redland Road about the same time.
Sequoyah County Emergency Management Director Steve Rutherford said the cause of the fire at Ernest Salvage, located in the community of Brushy, has not been determined. Much of the salvage yard was engaged in fire when firemen arrived to a large cloud of black smoke billowing skyward from a large stack of used tires.
The fire spread through the salvage yard igniting cars and coming close to a work garage. Firemen said some the windshields and tires left on the cars were popping and exploding, but there were no reports of any injuries, Rutherford said.
While that fire was being fought, reports came in of a second fire north of Muldrow, on North Redland Road. It's believed that fire may have been started by someone burning trash. The fire momentarily threatened structures but ultimately did not destroy any buildings.
Rutherford, when contacted, was on his way to the fire on North Redland and said he was getting calls there may be other fires.That could not be determined before press time.