Fire Situation Report – March 19, 2012

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/16/12 thru 03/19/12       

NE Area – 7 fires burned 620 acres (Causes: 3-Incendiary; 3-Escaped Debris Burn; 1-Railroad)

EC Area – 0 fires

SE Area – 2 fires burned 0.6 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary)

Two large fires occurred during the reporting period:

Copeland (Cherokee County) – This wildfire was caused by an escaped debris burn.  Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Northeast Area committed four firefighters with two Type 6 Engines and two Type 3 Dozers to suppress this fire.  In addition, three Type 6 Engines from local fire departments were committed to this wildfire that burned 400 acres in steep, rugged terrain seven miles northeast of Tahlequah.

Rattlesnake Ridge (Adair County) – Five firefighters the Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Northeast Area equipped with three Type 6 Engines and two Type 3 Dozers extinguished this incendiary-caused wildfire late Saturday evening.  The wildfire burned 300 acres in rugged, forested terrain five miles southeast of Stilwell.

* Protection Area Statistics do not reflect local fire department’s fire run information.  Statistics are for the ODAFF-Forestry Services’ eighteen county Fire Protection Area in eastern Oklahoma unless otherwise noted in the Discussion section of this report.

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** FROM for Time Period 03/16/12 thru 03/19/12

No wildfires recorded yesterday

** - These statistics are from Fire Departments that have reported their information on the Oklahoma Forestry Services web-based Fire Reporting System.  Totals do not reflect the total acres burned or total number of fires that have occurred in Oklahoma. 

Statewide Discussion:  No requests for State assistance or reports of unusual fire activity were received during the reporting period.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from Noon to 8 p.m. for Cimarron County in the Oklahoma Panhandle.  Very dry conditions with strong, gusty winds are expected today.  Today’s forecast calls for southwest winds from 20-30 mph with gusts near 40 and relative humidity values expected to drop into the single digits.  Today’s temperature is expected to climb into the 60-70 degree range.

Near Red Flag conditions will exist this afternoon and early evening in Texas County and part of Beaver County.  Relative humidity is expected in the 10-20% range with strong south-southwest winds from 20-30 mph with gusts near 35 mph.  Temperatures are expected to climb into the 60-70 degree range.

Any fire starting in and near the areas listed above has the potential to burn very intensely with rapid rates of spread.  Caution is urged while outdoors today with any potential ignition source which may spark a wildfire.

No fire control problems are anticipated in the remainder of Oklahoma today.

A County Commissioner Burn Ban is in effect for Cimarron and Texas County.  Click on the link listed below for the latest and most current Burn Ban information:

Report any suspicious wildland fire activity on the Arson Tip Line:  1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO ARSON).

Prepared by:  Mark Goeller, Ass’t Director, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services