Firefighter Briefing for 02/26/2016



The Fire Weather Forecast through the weekend and into early next week is very dynamic.

Much of northern and western Oklahoma will see above normal temperatures, low relative

humidity and strong gusty winds that will create fast moving and erratic fire behavior. 

There is a frontal boundary expected during this period that will also abruptly change

wind direction and bring the potential for very gusty winds. 


A Fire Weather Watch is presently in place for 13 northern and western counties in Oklahoma. 

Please refer to for the latest updates to the fire weather forecast.


Fire Behavior:

Significant fire danger indices will exist in much of northern and western Oklahoma over the next five days.  Any fire that becomes established will likely exhibit extreme rates of fire spread and erratic fire behavior.  This is especially true for both Saturday and Tuesday with the present forecast.

  • Short Grass / Pasture:  Maximum of 250-300 ft./min., head fire flame length 3-6 ft.

  • Tall Grass / Prairie: 300-450 ft./min. ( 5.1 mph), head fire flame length 12-20 ft.

  • Grass/Shrub/Redcedar: 100-200 ft./min, head fire flame length 10-18 ft.

  • Timber Litter(Forest): 20-60 ft./min., head fire flame length 3-8 ft.


    • Probability of Ignition will be near 70% in the afternoon hours meaning the potential for spotting will be high. The fuel moisture induced rate of combustion combined with the forecast winds may produce long range spotting.


Fire Weather and resulting Fire Behavior predictions for tomorrow indicate the frontal assault should be avoided – do not fight the fire at the head.  Anchor the fire at advantageous point (road, creek, cold black) and flank the fire if utilizing direct firefighting tactics.  Work the fire from the black if possible to provide for quick escape to a safety zone.  Avoid placing yourselves in a situation where unburned fuel is between you and the fire.


All firefighters are advised to take particular note of the 10 Standard Fire Orders with specific interest in the first three: (a complete list of the Standard Firefighting Orders below)

  1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.

  2. Know what your fire is doing at all times.

  3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.



  • Oklahoma Forestry Services will have Task Forces prepositioned to respond with engines, dozers and overhead personnel.

  • OFS will coordinate with OHP to have wildfire operational specialists in the air to assist with fire size-up and operational advice.

  • Fixed-wing tanker aircraft are available.

  • National Guard helicopters are available

  • OFS will have an Air Attack Supervision platform available.

  • County Wildland Task Force Resources should be prepared for mobilization.


To request assistance, call the Resource Hotline (800) 800-2481



Be Alert, Keep Calm, Think Clearly, Act Decisively



Standard Firefighting Orders

  1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
  2. Know what your fire is doing at all times.
  3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.
  4. Identify escape routes and safety zones and make them known.
  5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger.
  6. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.
  7. Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor, and adjoining forces.
  8. Give clear instructions and insure they are understood.
  9. Maintain control of your forces at all times.
  10. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.


18 Watchout Situations

  1. Fire not scouted and sized up.
  2. In country not seen in daylight.
  3. Safety zones and escape routes not identified.
  4. Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behavior.
  5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics, and hazards.
  6. Instructions and assignments not clear.
  7. No communication link with crewmembers/supervisors.
  8. Constructing line without safe anchor point.
  9. Building fireline downhill with fire below.
  10. Attempting frontal assault on fire.
  11. Unburned fuel between you and the fire.
  12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with anyone who can.
  13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below.
  14. Weather is getting hotter and drier.
  15. Wind increases and/or changes direction.
  16. Getting frequent spot fires across line.
  17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.
  18. Taking a nap near the fire line.


Four common denominators of fire behavior on tragedy fires:

  1. On relatively small fires or deceptively quiet areas of large fires.
  2. In relatively light fuels, such as grass, herbs, and light brush.
  3. When there is an unexpected shift in wind direction or wind speed.
  4. When fire responds to topographic conditions and runs uphill. Alignment of topography and wind during the burning period should always be considered a trigger point to re-evaluate strategy and tactics.