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Oklahoma wildfires: On charred practice field, Luther gets back to football

Joey Prince wasn't able to attend Luther's first football practice on Tuesday, and if he had, he would have needed to borrow some shoes.

His brand new cleats, purchased for his upcoming senior season with the Lions, were sitting on his bed last week when a wildfire turned much of his family's home into a burned pile of rubble.

Though Prince couldn't be there, the Lions went forward with practice Tuesday morning, on the first official day of football in the state — and that simple act was far from insignificant in a town ravaged by fires over the weekend.

Football in August is normal in a town like Luther. And normal is a good thing right now.

“With school being back in on Thursday, and football getting going, we'll get back to normal again,” first-year Luther head coach Shawn Meek said. “I think the identity of any small town is the school. That's what they have their pride in.

“In order to recover from something like this, people have to get back to normal, get back to consistency, get back to something being regular. To small towns in August, that's school and football.”

Estimates suggest the fires covered over four square miles and more than 50 homes and buildings.

The Lions went through drills on a field covered with spots of black, where fire burned nearly half of the grass in various areas.

It was a scene that touched nearly all of the senses, with the sound of charred grass crunching under players' feet as they ran and the smell of stale smoke drifting through the air.

An errant throw from the quarterback could have easily bounded into an area of torched trees just 20 yards off the sideline. To the north of the football team's practice site, the Luther softball field sat empty, narrowly avoiding fire damage that crept in behind the backstop.

The softball coach, Casey Strahan, lost his home in the fire, and though a game was scheduled for Tuesday, it had to be postponed.

In a town like Luther, with a little more than 1,200 residents, every car you pass on the road is likely carrying someone with a friend or family member affected by the fires — if not directly affected themselves.

“(Monday night) a lot of the football players went down and helped out at the donation center, just unloading trucks, sorting things out, carrying water,” senior quarterback Austin Weathers said. “We've had a lot of friends lose stuff, and any way we've been able to help, we've tried our best.”

Justin Wilson, an All-State lineman for Luther last season, lost his home, just as he's trying to prepare for a college football career at Emporia State in Kansas.

His cousin, Steven Northerton is a senior starter for Luther this year, and though he sees people like Wilson fighting through the devastation with a strong will, he knows it can't be easy.

“They're holding up, and if he's being strong, we've got to be strong for him, too,” Northerton said. “All this bad stuff has happened, and the best way to get past it is to get back to normal and get through it. Focus on what's ahead.

“It's hot and it's terrible out here practicing right now, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It's the best place to be in times like this.”

As for Prince, he has spent the last few days out of town with family, but should be back to practice in the next few days. Until then, the Lions have a constant reminder of what their football brother and their whole town have been through.

“Half our field is black from the fire damage, but in a way, I think it brings our kids closer,” Meek said. “That field is a reminder to keep Joey in their minds when he's not here. Nothing good will come out of this — it's a devastating occurrence. But I think it brings the kids closer together. It brings the town closer together.

“The people in this town are tough. We'll get back to normal again.”

Related Photos
WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012,  By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-n_1411c9982d58919443fbc15b0a6d64b8.jpg" alt="Photo - WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ad169c1adcb7c7a9edd6d8b66ba9e427.jpg" alt="Photo - WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football coach Shawn Meek talks to his players on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football coach Shawn Meek talks to his players on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football coach Shawn Meek talks to his players on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0e0382bdd5a301823daa72f4b8bab6ab.jpg" alt="Photo - WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7f31888fbce66b59a3a6d52002ac31e4.jpg" alt="Photo - WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>WILDFIRE / AFTERMATH / DAMAGE: Luther High School football players work out on the practice field which was partially burned by recent wildfires in Luther, OK, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e593d7815622a968a408b2dce1e702ef.jpg" alt="Photo - A burned utility pole smolders around burned trees, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A burned utility pole smolders around burned trees, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A burned utility pole smolders around burned trees, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-df0921bc3da1714c0946297f4d2b6660.jpg" alt="Photo - A wood post still burns at a home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A wood post still burns at a home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A wood post still burns at a home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4fc6ced344dfe2df6fea4decfceb1088.jpg" alt="Photo - A house sits unharmed in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla." title="A house sits unharmed in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla."><figcaption>A house sits unharmed in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-14c8c3bb399a073373dfd5b12caba766.jpg" alt="Photo - Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1c2e9a776eed7f427dc4ad0172a7497c.jpg" alt="Photo - Abigail Bell looks at a relative's burned cars , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Abigail Bell looks at a relative's burned cars , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Abigail Bell looks at a relative's burned cars , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the community of Oak Grove, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3da2b213923bce8c108583be11a9cc3d.jpg" alt="Photo - A home is pictured burned , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A home is pictured burned , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A home is pictured burned , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-04199816e2620b4b96b206aff02302f3.jpg" alt="Photo - A burned home is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A burned home is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A burned home is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-46c2b1957cfb271ccf36d3b41257cc28.jpg" alt="Photo - Wildfire damage is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Wildfire damage is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Wildfire damage is pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ea43d532badc9ebc7c3990b979dc3a5b.jpg" alt="Photo - Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove community in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove community in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Burned cars are pictured , Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oak Grove community in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-79ea748305e123c2545c65acede1fec5.jpg" alt="Photo - Gov. Mary Fallin visits with city officials, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Gov. Mary Fallin visits with city officials, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Gov. Mary Fallin visits with city officials, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c5803198e7c30de530f4b14f9497a18b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oscar Montelongo, right, looks at what is left of his home with Doug Roberson looks, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Oscar Montelongo, right, looks at what is left of his home with Doug Roberson looks, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oscar Montelongo, right, looks at what is left of his home with Doug Roberson looks, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2fee50ce43f56f0600e099f933571eb8.jpg" alt="Photo - A home still burns, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A home still burns, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A home still burns, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cc724d40938632fee4a6a1f1caf6a352.jpg" alt="Photo - Laurilyn Harris surveys the damage at her cousin's home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. " title="Laurilyn Harris surveys the damage at her cousin's home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. "><figcaption>Laurilyn Harris surveys the damage at her cousin's home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8ffcdfe2a32b35631dfba9b24ec0ab1d.jpg" alt="Photo - Marie Montelongo looks through her burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Marie Montelongo looks through her burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Marie Montelongo looks through her burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4bdf5ccb6e14384dcccdfb668d883a5d.jpg" alt="Photo - A car sits burned in a field in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla." title="A car sits burned in a field in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla."><figcaption>A car sits burned in a field in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-81a61639e8b664d2af67f87d510b8852.jpg" alt="Photo - Cows gather around a tree in a burned field, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday." title="Cows gather around a tree in a burned field, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday."><figcaption>Cows gather around a tree in a burned field, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b1b7f44754aad47cc48f2f53a59f8b6e.jpg" alt="Photo - A bike lies in ash in a burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A bike lies in ash in a burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A bike lies in ash in a burned home, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8432a87c9fbc9475a3782f07684cedcc.jpg" alt="Photo - A burned utility poles lies in ash, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="A burned utility poles lies in ash, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A burned utility poles lies in ash, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5055ab63cf9744d3f2b1e85bc8d74b79.jpg" alt="Photo - Jonathan Bell looks at what is left of a relatives home with his daughter Abigail, 5, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Jonathan Bell looks at what is left of a relatives home with his daughter Abigail, 5, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Jonathan Bell looks at what is left of a relatives home with his daughter Abigail, 5, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in the Oak Grove community near Drumright, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aa2bd25f61a6d88c684384bd5361dcec.jpg" alt="Photo - Doug Roberson looks over damage at the home of Oscar Montelongo, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday." title="Doug Roberson looks over damage at the home of Oscar Montelongo, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday."><figcaption>Doug Roberson looks over damage at the home of Oscar Montelongo, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Glencoe, Okla., after wildfires moved through the area Saturday.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-71797e2538c942926321360f29a97e62.jpg" alt="Photo - A Norman firefighter gives bottles of cold water to fellow firefighters inside a firetruck as they prepare to venture into a heavily wooded area north of SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird to extinguish flare-ups. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="A Norman firefighter gives bottles of cold water to fellow firefighters inside a firetruck as they prepare to venture into a heavily wooded area north of SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird to extinguish flare-ups. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>A Norman firefighter gives bottles of cold water to fellow firefighters inside a firetruck as they prepare to venture into a heavily wooded area north of SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird to extinguish flare-ups. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-925a66eaefa24636a0642a079b5891ef.jpg" alt="Photo - Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0e2756dbaa0c1cf9d387a00bd181665b.jpg" alt="Photo - Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-52783674d480eb654fca16c34fca389a.jpg" alt="Photo - Norman firefighters get a short rest between battling hot spots in heavily wooded areas along SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird Monday afternoon. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Norman firefighters get a short rest between battling hot spots in heavily wooded areas along SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird Monday afternoon. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Norman firefighters get a short rest between battling hot spots in heavily wooded areas along SH 9 near Lake Thunderbird Monday afternoon. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-74c13527856eb40c5fce05012e9f7dcf.jpg" alt="Photo - Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Father and son who both are named Tim Jones (not junior or senior) make temporary repairs to the front exterior of their mobile home after wildfires damaged it Friday. Homes surrounding their property had burned to the ground. The Jones' home escaped with minor damage to vinyl siding and skirting caused by the intense heat of the flames. Firefighters pulled burning wooden stairs (foreground) from the front of the home, preventing the structure from catching fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0e2756dbaa0c1cf9d387a00bd181665b.jpg" alt="Photo - Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Neal Wood, 50. and his daughter, Melissa Wood, 26, search through the ashen rubble that was her bedroom until their home was destroyed by fire on Friday. She lived with her young daughter in her parents' home in southeast Cleveland County. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-015cc5c35f74537d888ed7aef2d283a6.jpg" alt="Photo - Neal Wood, 50, walks among the ashes and charred remains of his home where he and his family have lived for 18 years. Everything in the home was destroyed in the fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman." title="Neal Wood, 50, walks among the ashes and charred remains of his home where he and his family have lived for 18 years. Everything in the home was destroyed in the fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman."><figcaption>Neal Wood, 50, walks among the ashes and charred remains of his home where he and his family have lived for 18 years. Everything in the home was destroyed in the fire. Norman firefighters continued to extinguish small grass fires on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, three days after a massive wildfire scorched more than 10 square miles of dry land, destroying dozens of homes and structures as it swept across rural sections of southeast Cleveland County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure>
Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›

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