Oklahoma Forestry Service: Now is the time to prepare for wildfires

by Caroline Vandergriff

FOX 25 News

The Oklahoma Forestry Service says in the past few years, the state has seen wildfires similar to the ones raging in California right now.

Though wildfire activity has been less than normal in Oklahoma for October and November, we could start seeing more fires here. The freezing conditions have pushed plants and trees into dormancy, which makes for perfect kindling.

"Grasses, leaf litter, dead and dying timber, standing timber - all that stuff is considered fuel," said Drew Daily with the Oklahoma Forestry Service.

Daily says our wildfire risk is now dependent on the weather. Warmer, dry, and windy days can be very dangerous. Though the recent rain and winter weather in Oklahoma has knocked the risk back.

"Decreases potential for fires to occur, but when they do occur, we have a little bit of a better opportunity to capture those," Daily said.

Right now, Daily says it looks like Oklahoma could see a less than normal amount of wildfire activity for the remainder of the fall and winter. He still warns people to be cautious.

"We’ve seen this regularly in Oklahoma, that things can change rapidly," said Daily. "The beginning of fall and through the fall season, is an excellent time to be very proactive in preparing your own residence and things you value for what may be potentially impacted by wildfire."

Firefighters recommend:

  • Clearing leaves from gutters
  • Raking leaves away from home
  • Trimming hedges and bushes
  • Mowing grass short this time of year
  • Stacking firewood away from the home