The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has sent the following update on the wildfires currently impacting our state from spokeswoman Keli Cain:
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 3
August 4, 2012 – 5:10 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to ongoing fires, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas. Additionally, OEM is working with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Division, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma State Department of Health, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
STATEWIDE BURN BAN
A statewide Burn Ban is in effect. This ban, issued by Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday, supersedes all county burn bans currently in place and remains in place until conditions improve and it is removed by the Governor. For a copy of the current burn ban resolution or for the most up-to-date information go to: www.forestry.ok.gov/ burn-ban-information
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin due to extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. Under the executive order, the state of emergency lasts for 30 days.
Creek County Emergency Management reports the fire is ongoing. Two National Guard helicopters are assisting on the fire. Delaware, Mayes and Washington county task forces are responding. Evacuations are underway west, southwest of Mannford.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports a fire near the Tom Steel Reservoir. The fire has cut off water to Altus and other communities in the area.
Lincoln County Emergency Management reports a fire between County Road 750 and County Road 3520 near Drumright. Evacuations are underway in this area.
Noble Emergency Management reports the Noble/Slaughterville fire in Cleveland County is ongoing. A National Guard helicopter is on scene assisting. Johnston and McClain county task forces are responding.
Oklahoma County Emergency Management reports the fire at Luther is ongoing. Early reports indicate approximately 56 structures have been destroyed since yesterday.
Pittsburg County Emergency Management reports a fire 10 miles west, southwest of Quinton at Lick Creek Road near Lake Eufaula. Homes have been evacuated. A National Guard helicopter is on scene to assist.
Pittsburg County Emergency Management reports an additional fire near 31 Landing off Highway 31. Seven fire departments are responding.
Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports a fire on I-40 at mile marker 181 through 183.
Stillwater Emergency Management reports a fire between Stillwater and Glencoe. A National Guard helicopter is en route to assist and a second one is en route. Glencoe and Ingles fire departments are on the scene as well as OSU Fire Service Training. Evacuations in Glencoe and the surrounding area are underway.
Woods County Emergency Management reports a fire at Highway 14 and Avard Road. Four fire departments are responding.
More than 52,000 acres have burned in fires across the state since yesterday.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports:
Noble/Slaughterville Fire – 7,900 acres
Creek County Fire – 32,000 acres
Luther Fire – 2,600 acres
Grady County Emergency Management reports 9,600 acres have burned in the Ninnekah fire.
OEM has been working in conjunction with State Forestry officials to deploy Oklahoma National Guard helicopters for aerial fire support. Oklahoma Forestry Division is providing ground firefighting support. Water drops are being provided today on fires in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma, Payne and Pittsburg counties.
The following American Red Cross Shelters remain open:
Harmony Christian Church – 7100 S. Choctaw Road in Choctaw, OK
Noble City Hall – 304 S. Main Street in Noble, OK
Sand Springs United Methodist Church – 101 W. 38th Street, Sand Springs, OK
American Red Cross Reports 38 people stayed overnight at the Mannford shelter that is now closed, 48 people stayed at the Noble Shelter and 8 people stayed at the Choctaw Shelter.
Additionally, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are providing canteens and volunteers to support firefighters in the affected areas.
Hot and dry weather over the past few months has lead to drought conditions statewide. Strong winds, extremely high temperatures and low relative humidity has created critical fire weather conditions across much of the state. An area along and 100 miles either side of I-44 is under a Red Flag Fire Warning. A cold front is moving into northern Oklahoma this afternoon which will help lower temperatures across the state by Sunday. Even with this cold front, temperatures will remain in the upper 90s to 104 degrees. The cold front is expected to create further challenges for firefighters as wind shifts occur.
WORKING WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
The Oklahoma Insurance Department recommends taking the following steps after your property has been damaged by a fire:
· When the fire has moved on or been extinguished, call your insurance agent or company claim line as soon as possible.
· Make a list of your damaged property and make necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage.
· Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully to fully understand your coverage and your rights. If you don’t have the policy in hand, ask the agent for a copy.
· Know if you have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage.
· Ask your agent about additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use.
· Refer to your policy to know what deductible you’ll be required you’ll be required to pay.
For questions about insurance claims or to report insurance fraud, please call the Oklahoma Insurance Department consumer assistance number at 1-800-522-0071 or online at http://oid.ok.gov
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
Police are looking for a man who stole a handgun and $1,000 from the Public Auto Auction in Oklahoma City earlier this year.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300.
A new pretrial court date has been set for a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper charged with second-degree rape.
Patrick Venable, 28, is accused of raping a Guthrie woman while on duty June 20. He was ordered to stand trial after Special Judge R.L. Hert Jr. ruled April 4 that there was enough evidence presented at the preliminary hearing for Venable to face trial in district court.
His attorney, Carl Hughes, wrote in an email that Venable plans to proceed with a trial. He said he is still waiting on discovery materials from prosecutors before the case can move forward.
Another pretrial date has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 17, Hughes said.
Photo by Paul Southerland: Former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Patrick Venable talking with his attorney outside a courtroom during his preliminary hearing at the Payne County Courthouse in Stillwater Monday, Jan. 23, 2012.
Oklahoma authorities are teaming up to target underage alcohol sales and drinking for the remainder of June.
The Oklahoma County Metro Alcohol Task Force will perform compliance checks at bars and convenience stores to make sure employees aren’t selling alcohol to minors. (more…)
Severe storms with large hail and high winds swept through Oklahoma Tuesday night, knocking out power to thousands and damaging homes and vehicles.
Several apartment buildings and homes had broken windows, as well as scattered leaves and tree limbs throughout neighborhoods.
Our reporters have been following the damage and upcoming storms expected to hit later this evening. To avoid injury, it never hurts to be prepared. Take some time to review a severe weather checklist below provided by the American Red Cross.
Rebecca Bryan, 53, of Mustang, is scheduled to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge Tuesday in district court.
She is accused of fatally shooting her husband, Keith Bryan, the Nichols Hills fire chief, in September 2011 at their Mustang home. Bryan is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and will enter a plea.
Fire investigators are still working to determine what caused a Midwest City apartment fire that killed a mother and her two children May 6.
Maj. David Richardson said more investigators have been brought in to examine the building at 449 Harr Drive but haven’t been able to determine the heat source. (more…)
Police are looking for a man who used his cell phone to take a picture underneath a woman’s dress in west Oklahoma City.
Master Sgt. Gary Knight said the man was at the Outlet Mall April 19 in the 7600 block of West Reno Avenue when the incident occurred.
The man reached down as if to look for something then slid his phone underneath the dress of a woman and took a picture. A witness at the store saw what was happening and confronted the man, police said.
The man then ran from the store and fled in an older model maroon Pontiac Grand Am.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Police are still looking for a man wanted in connection with a domestic dispute in southwest Oklahoma City Monday.
Matthew Zachariah Dean, 29, is wanted on warrants of kidnapping, domestic assault causing great bodily injury and possession of a firearm, police said.
Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said officers were called about 12:40 p.m. Monday to the 1500 block of SW 79 Terrace. She said a caller said a man was on top of a woman, and they were fighting.
Officers arrived and found a woman lying in the yard, covered in blood, according to the police report. Read the rest of the report below. (more…)
President Barack Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage Wednesday during an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.
Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends.
Gov. Mitt Romney stopped in Oklahoma City Wednesday for a press conference with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. When asked about his thoughts on Obama’s statements, Romney said, “My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman, and that’s my own preference.
“I have the same view I’ve had since running for office.”