Anderson Creek Fire Containment Increases, Fire Danger Remains in Much of the State


Firefighters continue to monitor control lines on the Anderson Creek Fire, reinforcing areas that may be of concern given the fire weather forecast for tomorrow.  Due to improved mapping, flight acreage of the fire was able to be more accurately calculated.  Oklahoma Forestry Services officials report the 367,620 acre fire is now 95% contained.  Containment is now estimated at 98% for the portion of the fire in Woods County, OK.  Kansas officials are reporting the fire to be 81% contained in Barber County and 90% contained in Comanche County.

 

“Yesterday’s strong winds and low relative humidity was a good test of fire containment lines. There was minimal internal smoke, with very little fire activity along the fire perimeter,” stated George Geissler, Director of Oklahoma Forestry Services.

 

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Cimarron and Texas Counties in the Panhandle today.  Within the warned area, temperatures around 76°, predominantly clear skies and relative humidity values 10-15%.  This will result in very dry grasses and small diameter vegetation.  If a fire initiates, it can be expected to exhibit quick growth and potential for extreme fire behavior.

 

Due to this potential behavior, outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.  Citizens are asked to call and report any smoke or fires to their nearest fire department.

 

A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for tomorrow, March 30, 2016, across a large section of western Oklahoma including the following counties: Cimarron, Texas, Alfalfa, Major, Dewey, Custer, Washita, Kiowa, Harper, Woods, Ellis, Woodward, Roger Mills, Beckham, Harmon and Greer.  Critical fire weather is expected throughout the afternoon into this evening with low relative humidity and southwest winds potentially gusting to 45 mph. 

 

Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Lone Star State Incident Management Team assigned to the incident has been working with local officials to report  over 1,000 bales of hay, hundreds of miles of fence line and approximately 600 cattle were lost in the Oklahoma portion of the Anderson Creek Fire. Oklahoma Emergency Management damage assessments of structure loss are on-going.  Kansas and Oklahoma officials report 16 residential structures and 25 other minor structures were destroyed.  There have been no reports of injuries or fatalities on the fire in Oklahoma and Kansas.

 

A county burn ban is in place in Texas, Harper and Cimarron Counties. Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information.