Oklahoma wildfires: Officials to tour fire-damaged areas Thursday
State and federal officials will tour fire-damaged areas Thursday to conduct preliminary damage assessments in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma and Payne counties.
Representatives with the state Emergency Management Department, Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration will join local emergency managers in assessing eligibility for potential federal disaster assistance. The teams will work to determine the uninsured losses and needs of those whose homes and businesses sustained damage.
More than 103,200 acres have burned across the state since Friday, officials said Wednesday. One fatality has been reported, an adult whose body was found in rural Norman.
More than a dozen fire departments were battling a large fire Wednesday afternoon southeast of Stroud, as the state of emergency remained in place statewide.
Very high to critical fire danger is expected Thursday as winds increase and relative humidity values decrease across central and northern Oklahoma, emergency management officials said. Temperatures again are expected to be in the upper 90s to 105 degrees across the state.
American Red Cross shelters for fire victims continue to operate in Lexington and Mannford, spokesman Ken Garcia said. Resource centers are available in Oklahoma, Cleveland, Payne and Creek counties.
Oklahoma residents seeking nonemergency disaster or health and human service information are asked to call 211. Services are available 24 hours a day. Callers should use 911 only for emergencies, officials said.
The Oklahoma County sheriff's office Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155 announced Wednesday it is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for starting the Luther wildfire Friday. FOP members also are seeking pledges to increase the reward. The total reward now stands at $1,500.
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“We are at a point where we really need information from the public,” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said in statement released Wednesday. “The only way we are going to solve this case is if someone comes forward and gives us information that will lead to the arrest of the individual who committed this horrendous crime.”
Anyone who wants to make a pledge can contact Sgt. Larry Grant, FOP Lodge 155 president, at email@example.com or 820-2469.