While the dead of winter is generally not a high-alert time for grass fires, area officials are warning about a recent lack of rainfall that has caused dry conditions and created a grass fire danger.
A blaze north of Hudson Lake Road last Friday required fire units from four different departments. Early last week, another fire near Woolaroc required the combined efforts of at least 10 departments before it could be brought under control.
Bartlesville Fire Marshal Billy Phillips said that although the area has received moisture from winter storms, the grasses have dried back out and become susceptible to fire.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a hazardous weather decision support page to help with planning for emergency crews. It currently shows a risk for fire danger throughout Washington and eastern Osage counties.
As of last Friday, the Bartlesville area remained about seven inches below the normal amount for annual precipitation.