Homerun for the Homeless

"The Voice" contestant Adley Stump and then KJRH meteorologist George Flickinger pose for a photo during Homerun for the Homeless fundraiser in 2013. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World

Meteorologist George Flickinger was fired by KOKI channel 23 for breaking into a live professional football broadcast to warn Mayes County residents of dangerous wild fires.

Flickinger interrupted a Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants game on Nov. 27 after receiving a request for evacuation from the Mayes County Emergency Management office.

Station officials called the weatherman's failure to wait for a commercial a "negligent" decision, and he was fired without pay.

Flickinger confirmed the firing in an e-mail, but declined to go on the record with the Tulsa World.

The Nov. 27 fire was one of dozens that raged through the state that weekend, fed by winds gusting up to 65 mph, forcing evacuations in several rural areas. Up to 20 families were forced from their homes by wildfires on that day.

Lloyd Colston, director of Mayes County Emergency Management, on Monday said he notified by e-mail all the Tulsa TV stations about the evacuation on the afternoon of Nov. 27, and followed up with phone calls to the major TV stations to make them aware of the situation and the need to get the information to the public.

National and state officials were in Mayes County on Friday inspecting damage to 19 homes and four businesses leveled by the fires on Nov. 27 and 28.

The Tulsa World announced Oct. 29 that Flickinger would be leaving the station at the end of his contract run in January. Melanie Henry, news director at the Fox-affiliated station, declined to discuss Flickinger's firing, stating, "We cannot comment on personnel or employee matters."

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Chief Photographer Tom Gilbert went up in a helicopter to show what the flooding looked like on Wednesday afternoon on May 22.

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