OFS Warns of High Fire Danger Potential across Oklahoma

Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS), a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry, is alerting the public that a RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for western Oklahoma today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Predicted strong winds with gusts up to 30-35 mph in the afternoon combined with a possible shift in wind direction, low relative humidity and record high temperatures may result in critical fire danger today for western Oklahoma.

"Under these conditions, sparks can ignite easily and fires will spread quickly. We are urging Oklahomans to be vigilant today with any outdoor activity,” said Oklahoma State Forester, George Geissler. “Safety of the firefighters and the public is of the utmost concern and rapid spread rates with prevailing winds can pose control problems for firefighter.”

Oklahoma Forest Service is coordinating state wildland fire resources including dozers and engines, aircraft to assist with efforts on the ground and firefighting personnel for response, as well as assisting fire department across the state with current fire activity and communicating about the predicted high fire danger.

Crews continue working to contain the Guthrie Fire in Logan County and the Quinlan Fire in Woodward County, as well as other fires in the eastern part of Oklahoma. OFS established unified command on the Guthrie Fire yesterday. The Guthrie Fire is at a total of 3250 acres and is 30% contained. The Quinlan Fire is estimated at 5000 acres.

A Governor’s burn ban is in place for more than half of the state’s counties and many of those have specific exemptions. “We evaluate wildland fire conditions for the state every day,” said State Forester, George Geissler.  “The extreme conditions that occurred over the weekend – including record breaking heat and high winds, coupled with low humidity – resulted in vegetation reaching critically dry conditions and prompting the 36 county governor’s burn ban.”

Visit OFS website www.forestry.ok.gov for a complete list of burn bans and compliance guidelines.