Large Fire Still Uncontained in Central Oklahoma

Oklahoma Forestry Services air and ground resources, local fire departments and Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighters are working to suppress a large uncontained wildfire in central Oklahoma. The Pharoah fire and neighboring Nuyaka fire are expected to burn together sometime today.

Both fires began on Thursday and current estimates of the Pharoah-Nuyaka fire are 18,000 acres. OFS is in unified command with BIA and fire departments from Okmulgee, Sunrise and Nuyaka. Multiple residences, outbuildings and a large hog farm are threatened. Current estimates are that this fire is 10% contained.

“We’ll be heavily engaged on this fire today with dozers, engines and aircraft,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. “This fire is large and burning in terrain that ranges from flat and open to rugged and rocky.”

Fire danger in the state varies from very high in the panhandle and western edge of Oklahoma, to high across the rest of the state. The state is experiencing high temperatures with stronger winds than yesterday and most of the state will have a little higher humidity than in past days.

“The three factors that affect fire danger and behavior are winds, temperature and humidity,” said Geissler. “Thursday all three were extreme and today we are getting a little help from humidity, but the strong winds and high temperatures aren’t really in our favor. We are again asking citizens to be very aware, avoiding any outdoor activities that could spark a blaze and continuing to call their nearest fire department if they see or smell fire.”

OFS continues to revise total acres lost since Thursday as better mapping of fire perimeters become available. The current estimate is 58,000 acres across the state.

Reports indicate numerous structures have been lost during these wildfires. Oklahoma Emergency Management damage assessments are ongoing.

Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention and protection. For additional information about wildfires, visit