Wildfires threaten, destroy homes
BY AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Monday, August 08, 2011
8/08/11 at 4:15 AM
Tulsa firefighters battle heat exhaustion
Read more about Tulsa heatwave and drought, get weather updates and see photos and video.
CLEVELAND, Okla. - Wildfires near Cleveland and Terlton in Pawnee County forced more evacuations Sunday after several days of fires in northeast Oklahoma.
Around 30 homes were in danger of destruction or damage as a result of wildfires in Cleveland, Fire Chief Jo Burger said. Several were destroyed, but the exact number was unknown.
U.S. 412 - the Cimarron Turnpike - was closed in the area at 5:50 p.m. because of smoke from the fires, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol news release.
More than 100 firefighters from several departments were fighting the blaze south of U.S. 412 near 0550 Road, also known as County Barn Road, Burger said.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter for evacuees at Oakhill Baptist Church, near U.S. 64 and Oklahoma 48, according to a Red Cross release. The Red Cross also had a cooling station at Western Heights Baptist Church in Cleveland, which was also being used for firefighters working to contain the blaze in Terlton.
On Saturday, a grass fire between Sand Springs and Mannford destroyed homes, forcing residents to evacuate.
The affected area in that fire was south of Oklahoma 51 and east of Mannford.
At least one home was destroyed in Saturday's fire, which spanned from Coyote Trail south to 71st Street and from Dip Creek Road west to Tower Road, said Honorary Chief George Blackburn of the Keystone Volunteer Fire Department.
No injuries were reported.
Water use falls
The city's water usage dipped to 188.9 million gallons Saturday, down from 204.5 million gallons on Friday and 195.6 mgd on Thursday.
The city's voluntary water rationing program remains in effect.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett filed an executive order Wednesday enacting stage 1, which calls for outdoor watering on alternate days between midnight and noon.
Odd and even addresses are matched with the odd and even calendar days for when watering can occur.
A city ordinance mandates that when the water usage reaches 206 mgd for two consecutive days, the mayor officially implement stage 1 of the city's four-stage water rationing program.
Sunday high tempered by clouds
Tulsa's 103-degree high Sunday was the coolest in Tulsa since July 30, when the temperature topped out at 101. The normal high for Aug. 7 is 94, making Sunday's high 9 degrees above normal. Scattered cloud cover and Saturday night's storms helped keep Sunday's high down from near or above 110-degree readings on Friday and Saturday, forecasters said.Sunday's high 103
Sunday's low 77
Monday's forecast high 109
Monday's forecast low 82
100-degree days this summer* 35
Sunday's rainfall# 0.00
August rainfall# 0.75 inches
August's rainfall average** 2.9 inches
*since summer started June 21
** for the entire month #through 7 p.m. Sunday
Note: Figures reported in Sunday's Tulsa World on Saturday's low temperature and precipitation totals were as of early Saturday evening. Following storms that affected the area, the low temperature dipped to 75 on Saturday evening. Saturday's precipitation total was 0.75 inches, as officially measured at Tulsa International Airport.
Amanda Bland 918-581-8413