The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 8, 2014

Agency: Controlled burn did not cause Logan Co. fire

GUTHRIE — A state agency has ruled out a controlled burn as a cause of the Logan County fire that likely caused one fatality and burned more than 3,000 acres.

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry spokeswoman Kirby Smith said the agency’s Investigative Services division has begun wrapping up its investigation of the Guthrie-area.

Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, was investigating where and how the fire originated.

“Our special agents regularly investigate wildland fires where they use witness statements, examine burn patterns and consult aerial photographs to determine a cause,” Smith said. “In this case, the evidence did not point to a controlled burn.”

Earlier in the week, officials linked the cause of the fire that started late Sunday afternoon east of Interstate 35 along Seward Road to a controlled burn that got out of control.

Wednesday, in his final situation update, Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said no cause had been ruled out. Harlow said earlier reports were based on the initial arriving firefighting units’ information to incident command.

Amy Elliott, spokeswoman for the state medical examiner’s office, said cause and manner of death information was not ready.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the fatality. In a previous report, Sam Schafnitt, the agency’s chief operations officer, said they were awaiting the ruling by the ME’s office.

Smith said when finished the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s final report will be turned over to incident command. Smith said her agency was not planning on releasing any information to the media.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

 

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