A new report from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency says the fires at the Chimney Sweep Plant in Oklahoma have destroyed thousands of homes, damaged crops, caused an estimated $50 million in property damage and cost thousands of lives.
The study was released Wednesday.
It was the first of its kind, and the report was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The report found that the fires could be prevented by better management and the use of more protective materials.
“This is an extremely significant fire that occurred in an area where there are a lot of natural and man-made fires,” Dr. John Schreiber, an energy program director at the DOE and a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, said in a statement.
“There are no signs of significant firefighting efforts.
If the fires were extinguished, millions of acres of agricultural land in western Oklahoma would have been saved, and tens of thousands of people would have had access to fresh water.”
Schreiber is also the author of the book, “The Chimney Sweeps: A Long-Term Assessment of Oklahoma’s Fire and Water Management,” which was released last month.
It examines the long-term effects of the fires on agriculture and the environment.
The chimneys are the largest single source of energy in Oklahoma.
They are also the largest source of CO2 emissions in the state.
Schreib’s team looked at data from 2015 and 2016, the first years of the state’s wildfire season.
In 2016, a record 5,600 acres burned at the plant.
The fires are often linked to other fire outbreaks that have damaged crops.
In 2016, there were about 1,000 fires burning at the facility, and fires caused $1.3 billion in damage, according to the report.
The fire suppression system at the plants was in place during the most recent fire season.
In 2015, the plant was closed for a time.
The plant was reopened after a short-lived closure in May.
Schneiber says the report is an important part of the agency’s efforts to address the problems at the state-owned facilities.
“The Chimneys Sweep Plant and the Chimneys Waste Treatment Plant are critical components of the national strategy to combat the fire threat in western North Carolina and western Oklahoma,” he said in the statement.
“These facilities are vital to providing the critical fuel needed to burn oil in the region, and their failure threatens lives and property in the western U.S. and throughout the world.”
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