Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A passerby probably threw a lit cigarette out of a vehicle window Monday afternoon, igniting a blaze that kept emergency responders busy for more than two hours, a fire official said.
The fire began about a quarter-mile south of Garfield County Detention Facility on 10th. Dispatchers first alerted the fire station at 12:01 p.m., and the last unit left the scene at about 2:10 p.m.
Deputy Fire Chief Kenny Smith said the fire started along the roadway and although a specific cause of the blaze couldn’t be located, it most likely was a cigarette. It may have smoldered for some time before catching the surrounding vegetation on fire.
Getting to the fire
Firefighters’ work was hampered by the lack of passable ground to cover. Smith said high weeds prevented the trucks from making clear runs to staging points. Instead, they could only drive on the areas that already had been burned through because the terrain was easier to negotiate.
Several rigs specially designed to fight brush fires arrived on scene. Firefighters also deployed “flappers” — a handheld tool that resembles a shovel and is used to tamp smaller hotspots.
At one point, Smith said, the fire tried to cross a break in the pasture used as a road, but firefighters were able to keep it from spreading. If it had continued past that point, crews would have had a tougher time because of unwieldy terrain, he said.
There were no injuries associated with the fire. Smith said there appeared to be no property damage because there were no crops on the land — only natural grasses. The only damage that may accrue would be if the fire damaged the growth enough to cause erosion later on. The property is near Boggy Creek.
Enid police were called to the scene and blocked off about a half of a mile of 10th, south to Rupe. They were needed for traffic control because the smaller grass rigs had to make several runs to refill on water, and the tanker truck supplying the water was parked at the roadway.