Burning Hay Bales Ignite 10-Acre Wildfire Near Oklahoma City

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

On Friday (September 23rd) rescue crews had to battle a large wildfire that threatened an area near Oklahoma City. The natural disaster reportedly occurred when burning hay bales ignited 10 acres.

According to KOCO News 5, rescue crews revealed that the burning hay bales sparked the 10-acre fire and then the wind carried some spark into nearby trees. This then caused the wildfire to move uncontrollably close to nearby homes. The thick black smoke was seen near Northwest 122nd Street and Rockwell Avenue as the rescue crews attended to the fire. 

Speaking about the wildfire incident, Captain Scott Douglas explained, “Our biggest concern was the housing addition on the north side of this field. So we quickly got our brush pumpers moving ahead of the fire to protect those exposures.”

Luckily, no homes were damaged or lost to the wildfire. There were also no reported injuries. The latest fire occurred just days after an electrical fire outside of the Heritage Park Mall. The shopping is located outside of Oklahoma City. The fire reportedly left thousands without power. KFOR reports that an electrical transformer near the shopping area exploded and caused a dangerous situation for rescuers.

Oklahoma Forestry Service Shares More Important Information About What Causes Wildfires

In an online document, the Oklahoma Forestry Service reveals how a wildfire should be approached. The organization noted that one of the keys to wildfire recovery is damage assessment. 

“Wildfires can be very destructive,” the Oklahoma Forestry Service explained. “However, most fires actually burn at low intensity on much of the affected area, with only occasional pockets of moderate to high-intensity burn.”

The Oklahoma Forestry Service further stated that on occasion, wildfires do burn at high intensity over large areas. This is especially under extreme conditions. This includes high temperature, dry vegetation, low soil moisture, and strong winds. “Low-intensity fires can produce benefits to plant communities that evolved with fire as part of the natural system. These fires reduce underbrush, thin out young, closely-spaced trees, improve wildlife forage, and reduce fuel levels; thereby, lessening the chance for future high-intensity wildfires.”

Wildfires are also classified into three types, low, moderate, and high-intensity. Low intensity may damage or destroy trees and other vegetation. However, it doesn’t completely burn down forests or canopies. Moderate-intensity burns into the forest canopy and torches pine tree needles and leads. But not all debris is burned. Meanwhile, high-intensity destroys 50% to 100% of the forest canopy and everything on the forest floor. This kind of fire results in ash and soil reportedly loses its protection from rainfall and erosion. 

The Oklahoma Forestry Services went on to add that even if most of the area burned at low intensity, there may be ‘hot spots’ with greater destruction.