A grass fire burns March 7 in Harper County, Oklahoma. (KOKH/Steven Anderson)

Fires in northwest Oklahoma have damaged more than 800,000 acres.

The extent and size of the area damaged is hard for many of us to comprehend. As a couple of measuring sticks, there are 640 acres in one square mile. You would have to jog four miles to go around a section of land with 640 acres in it. If you divide 800,000 acres by 640, then you have 1,250 sections of land if each parcel was a separate property. When you consider the Boston marathon is considered a grueling 26 mile run, the entire race would be less than 8 sections if you ran around them one at a time.

Many people in Tulsa and Oklahoma City shop for homes with acreage to have a little space from their neighbors. Often, these properties sit on 2.5 acre or 5 acre lots. People who mow their 5 acre yards know how long it takes in the Summer months to mow 5 acres even on a yard tractor or riding mower.

The size of this fire and the amount of the damage is difficult to imagine. The photographs from the news account shows the entire skyline lit with fire. At night the specter of the fire becomes more real against the night sky.

Fire in Oklahoma is always serious, but rarely this widespread.