Wild fires are a serious issue in Oklahoma, especially western Oklahoma during the early months of the year. The humidity gets real low, there is a lack of moisture in the air, everything dries out, the land is arid, flat, and often plagued by cedar trees, creating the perfect environment for fire to catch on and spread. All that is needed is an initial spark and the Oklahoma wind will carry that lone flame into the most flammable environment thereby causing what can often be devastating levels of wild fire.
Wild fires can cause millions of dollars in damage to farms, ranches, homes, cities, and towns in Oklahoma.
Who is responsible? Can a person be held responsible? After all, fire is a natural and integral part of farming, ranching and rural life. Fire is necessary. Burning land is necessary. Eradicating cedar trees by cutting them down and burning them is considered prudent prevention of future fire liability.
So how does the law balance the rights of farmers and ranchers to conduct burning activities with the rights of people affected if the fire gets out of control? What degree of precaution should be taken for burning activities? And what if reasonable precaution is taken and the fire still gets out of control? Where do we draw the line between reasonable human actions and “acts of God?”
This series of blog articles will explore these topics and address the basic issues that arise in wildfire liability cases in Oklahoma, including:
- Types of lawful burning in Oklahoma
- Liability for damage caused by burning activities
- The role of expert witnesses in fire damage cases
- What to do immediately after wild fire breaks out
If you have questions about your own wild fire case, you can contact us for a free consultation.
Oklahoma Fire Damage Lawyer
Travis Charles Smith is an attorney who represents landowners in cases involving damage to their land, including damage from prescribed or controlled burns of neighboring lands. If you have suffered injury or damage to your land as a result of another landowner’s burn activities, you are encouraged to contact us to determine your rights to recover compensation for the damage.