Fallin Pays Visit to Mannford Fire Sites

Aug 6, 2012

Governor Fallin says the state is doing all it can to assist local efforts to fight fires.

Yesterday she toured an emergency command center and damage in the Mannford area.

At its largest, that fire covered over 57,000 acres, and had a 56-mile long fire line.

The Mannford command center, at the intersection of State Highways 33 and 48, will coordinate efforts this week to battle new fires as they occur in the area.

“One of the things we found (Saturday) was that we needed better coordination of services,” Fallin said, “because there were so many different fire departments that had come here.”

“We brought in tactical experts that are used to fighting big fires, who can see from the air support, and be able to tell people exactly where the fire lines are—where they need to send the resources,” she said.

She spoke with several victims of the fire, including the McKellar family, whose home along Highway 48 south of Mannford was completely destroyed.

They returned home on Sunday, already knowing their home was gone.

“We already knew it was gone,” said Rusty McKellar. “We kind of figured it because of the way the flames were back here behind the house” before they evacuated.

They don’t have insurance, but McKellar says the construction company he works for had pledged help in rebuilding.

The Red Cross is on site and spoke with the McKellars about their and other victims’ need.