Wildfire Threat Continues


Wildfires occurred in 20 counties yesterday and officials from Oklahoma Forestry Services estimate at least 40,000 acres burned. Today brings another day of high temperatures and low humidity, but winds will be a little more favorable.

“Citizens are again being asked not to do any burning today and to call their fire department if they see new fire starts,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. “Firefighters worked through the night on actively burning fires from yesterday and that work will continue today. It is critical that we have no new fire starts today.”

Evacuations took place in Pawnee, Okmulgee and Harper counties and initial reports show that numerous structures were lost. Oklahoma Emergency Management damage assessments are ongoing.

Aircraft provided critical support for firefighters on the ground. Oklahoma National Guard and federal aircraft dropped water to cool down flames to allow firefighters to suppress the wildfires. Though still on-going, the largest acreage fires from yesterday were:

  • Buffalo fire in Harper County--17, 280 acres
  • Sand Creek fire near Weleetka in Okfuskee County—4,950 acres
  • Pawnee Cove fire near Terlton in Pawnee County—3,320

 

“Hundreds of firefighters from local, state and federal agencies worked together suppressing yesterday’s fires with no serious injuries,” said Geissler. “Firefighter fatigue is a concern and we hope that the lighter winds today, coupled with citizen’s vigilance, give us an opportunity to gain the upper hand safely.”

Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention and protection. For additional information about wildfires, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information.