Fire Situation Report – April 10, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 04/09/2019 thru 04/10/2019 

NE Area – 4 Fires Burned 438.5 Acres (Cause: 1-Escaped Control Burn, 3-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – 1 Fire Burned 5 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: 

  • Crow Hollow Fire (Adair County) – 130 Acres, 80% Contained
  • King Hollow Fire Delaware County) – 300 Acres, 90% Contained

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside of the Protection Area: 

  • Radar Fire (Osage County) – 457 Acres, 60% Contained

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New Activity

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 04/09/2019 thru 04/10/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported – Wildfire Activity Noted through Media Outlets

Statewide Discussion: 

A Red Flag Warning is in effect today until 10:00 PM for seventeen counties in western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Elevated to extreme fire weather conditions will result in the likelihood of increased initial attack activity across the state. There is also a likely probability of some large fire occurrence (>300 acres) given ignitions along, north and west of the I-44 corridor, as well as moderate threat of significant fire occurrence in northwest Oklahoma and the eastern half of the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Very warm temperatures and dry atmospheric conditions will support readily receptive fuels today especially where dormant grass and brush are prevalent. Ignitions in those available fuels will quickly become established exhibiting problematic, and in some cases, extreme fire behavior. As has been previously discussed, the somewhat earlier than normal progression toward green up will offer advantageous breaks in the fuelscape where cool-season species are contributing live fuel moisture – yard grasses, wheat fields, heavily grazed pasture, etc.

Poor to fair overnight moisture recovery across the bulk of the state will facilitate an early and active burning period that will extend into the overnight hours especially west of the dryline. Cold front passage and the associated shift to northwest winds will begin in the western Panhandle later tonight progressing into northwest Oklahoma in the early morning hours on Thursday. Although much cooler temperatures will come with the cold front, strong wind speeds and the influence of accelerated drying in previous days will result in persistent fire danger concern.

Northwest Oklahoma / Oklahoma Panhandle: Temperature ranging 75° in Cimarron County to near 90° in northwest Oklahoma combined with relative humidity values 9-17% will drive fine-dead fuel moisture values 3% with Probability of Ignition 90% indicating that short range spotting should be expected. Some high clouds are forecasted, although no advantage from fuel shading is expected. South to southwest winds during peak burning conditions this afternoon will be sustained 25-35 mph with gusts 40-55+ driving very rapid to extreme rates of fire spread in dormant rangeland fuels.

  • Grass/Dormant Brush – On established fires; Rates of spread 350-490 ft./min (3.9-5.5 mph) with head fire flame lengths+/- 20 ft. Expect the most rapid rates of fire spread where winds are aligned with fuels and topographic influence.

Northern Oklahoma (along & north of US 412): Relative humidity values will resist tapping critical values; however dormant prairie and rangeland fuels will exhibit very rapid rates of fire spread given the fire weather expected today. Like much of the state, temperatures 85°-near 90° and relative humidity values 26-34% east of the dryline will yield receptive fine-dead fuels in the 5-6% range. South winds sustained 20-28 mph with some gusts in excess of 40 mph will support very rapid rates of fire spread. There have been numerous prescribed fires conducted in the previous weeks and days that will serve as barrier to fire spread as well as some heavily grazed pasture lands; however those conducted in the last two days will needed to be closely monitored as a source of potential ignition today. Given the activity in the area yesterday, a conditional threat of significant fire occurrence will be present.

  • Tall Grass – 212-360 ft./min. (2.4-4.0 mph) with flame lengths 13-25 ft.
  • Timber/Grass/Brush – 67-105 ft./min. with flame lengths around 12 ft.

I-44 Corridor (along, north & west – excluding areas previously addressed): Numerous areas of green pasture, wheat fields and maintained grasses punctuate the landscape with areas of timber, dormant brush and grasslands that will support active fire behavior. Nonetheless, notable fire weather will support active fire behavior. Temperature 85°-93° along with relative humidity values as low as 12% west of the dryline to 34% will deliver fine-dead fuel moisture values ranging from 3% southwest to 6% northeast. South winds sustained 20-26 mph gusting 35-50+ (southwest) will support erratic to extreme fire behavior in available fuels.

  • Warm-season / Tall Grass – **Conditional on stage of green up** rates of spread 45-250 ft./min. with flame lengths 6-15 ft.
  • Timber/Grass/Brush – 50-105 ft./min. with flame lengths around 12 ft.

Southeast / East Central: Substantial green up in herbaceous dominant fuels will limit fire spread potential although timber fuels and drier, elevated grass sites will support active combustion.

A cold front passing through the state from the Panhandle into the body of Oklahoma later this evening through the morning hours will impact the direction of spread on going fires. Winds will shift from the south-southwest to northwest with little decrease in wind speed. Firefighters are encouraged to anchor fires near the heal flanking the fire placing emphasis on containing the eastern edges ahead of the frontal boundary.

Fire danger will persist into Thursday with very poor overnight recovery although cooler temperatures and slightly moderated relative humidity values will be present into the day. Any fires occurring today will continue to present very active burning with new fires exhibiting problematic to extreme fire behavior tendency. Conditions will moderate into Friday.

Resource Availability: Request resources through the Resource Hotline (800) 800-2481

  • OFS Resources
  • OFS Task Force – Guymon
  • OFS Task Force – Weatherford
  • OFS Suppression Group – Woodward
  • OFS Type 3 Organization – Woodward
  • 2 – National Guard Helicopters
  • Large Air Tankers Available (w/ 1.5 – 2 hr. flight time)
  • OHP Observation Aircraft w/ OFS Operations Specialist

Burn Ban Status: No Burn Bans presently in effect.