Winds fan fires across county
High winds helped fan at least seven fires across Sequoyah County Wednesday with at least three of those fires being located in the Central area, sparking rumors there may have been an arsonist on the loose.
It could not be confirmed if some of the fires were being intentionally set, but Central Fire Chief Barry Orendorff said he was told that one of the fires near Central had been started by someone who unloaded junk and left it burning on the side of the road.
While that fire was burning, reports came in of another, more serious, fire down the road from that area, prompting firemen to respond to it, he said. Orendorff said he was out of the area and did not respond to the fires, adding that he had no further details.
Dispatchers were also reporting there was another fire in a wooded area.
David Slaughter, director of 911, said high winds were a big problem in fighting the fires. He said the largest fire was in the area of Lake Tenkiller.
There were also reportedly a couple of fires that broke out in the Marble City area, but Slaughter said he could not confirm that.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, Sequoyah County Emergency Management had issued a high wind warning from the National Weather Service in Tulsa.
The weather service reported increased fire spread conditions Wednesday and those conditions remained Thursday.
The weather service and local officials encouraged residents to avoid conditions that would cause a fire to spread and advised against burning during windy weather.