The Norman Transcript

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South Cleveland County fire coverage

August 11, 2012

Six days and 9,000 burnt acres later, fire crews triumph over blazes

NORMAN — The Norman Fire Department terminated the East Norman Command at 7 p.m. on Thursday for the fire that started south of Norman at noon last Friday. Fire crews had remained on the scene doing suppression continuously until the last flare up had been extinguished and all threat was eliminated.

While the Forestry Department reports nearly 9,000 acres burned in Cleveland County, in this particular fire, an estimated 5,000 acres were affected with half of that land located in Norman according to city staff reports.

Thursday, the State Fire Marshall ruled that four fires in Cleveland County, outside of Norman city limits, were arson. The city manager reported to members of Norman City Council that the investigation into the Norman portion of the weekend fires is ongoing.

“We are working with the State Fire Marshal, Norman Police Department and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office,” he wrote in the report. “It is believed that the original fire was intentionally set, and we have evidence indicating many set fires in the area.”

Federal Emergency Management Agency damage assessments are being completed. The assistance, if approved, would most likely be for individuals, not response agencies, the city manager reports.

FEMA will reimburse fire agencies through the Fire Management Assistance Grant.

“The reimbursement is 75 percent of approved costs,” said Cleveland County Emergency Management Director Dan Cary. “There’s a threshold, and you have to meet your threshold. It’s a statewide threshold.”

Those fire expenses are reported to the Forestry Department.

“These fires can be so devastating to communities, and we are committed to supporting our state and local partners during this time,” said FEMA Region 6 Acting Administrator Tony Robinson.

Eligible costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies, and mobilization and demobilization activities.

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