Fire Situation Report – April 2, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 04/01/2019 thru 04/02/2019 

NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 3 Acres (Cause: 1-Escaped Control Burn)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – 6 Fires Burned 379.3 Acres (Cause: 5-Incendiary, 1-Escaped Control Burn)

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: 

  • South McGee Creek Fire (Atoka County) – 313 Acres, 100% Contained
  • Cavanal Hill Fire (LeFlore County) – 139 Acres, 100% Contained

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside of the Protection Area: No New Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New Activity

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 04/01/2019 thru 04/02/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported

Statewide Discussion: 

Drying conditions yesterday have set the stage for increased fire danger today. While active burning conditions are expected statewide today, the highest fire danger indices will be present in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern and western tier of counties. On Wednesday, fire danger concerns shift to the northeastern quarter of Oklahoma where gusty winds will promote rapid rates of fire spread in dormant grass fuels. Storm chances come into play Wednesday afternoon in western Oklahoma although precipitation amounts outside of the storm cells appear to be rather light given the current forecast data.

Today, dormant fine fuels will be receptive across the state with the highest fire danger indices present in southwestern Oklahoma roughly south of I-40 and west of I-44. Composite fuel moisture values do not support concerns regarding resistance to suppression, although potential rates of fire spread should be respected.

Southwest Oklahoma: Temperatures will warm into the upper-60°’s to 74° with relative humidity values this afternoon sinking into the 20-27% range. Some sky cover may be present, although not enough shading is expected to prevent fine-dead fuels from tapping 4-5% during the peak burning period late this afternoon. Southwest to south winds sustained 15-20 mph with gusts 20-25 combined with the rapid drying of fine fuels will yield rapid rates of spread in un-grazed/un-hayed grass fuels ranging from 158 – 220 ft./min. (1.7-2.5 mph) with head fire flame lengths 12-14 ft.

Elsewhere in Oklahoma: Dormant fine-fuels will be quite receptive with 1-hr. fuel moisture values this afternoon 5-6% broadly and potential for some 4% observations in the western Panhandle. Temperatures in the mid- to upper-60°’s, relative humidity values generally 27-35% (20-24% western Panhandle) will support those dry fine-fuels producing rates of spread in decadent grasses 85-130 ft./min. with head fire flame lengths around 10 ft. average given sustained winds 7-12 mph and occasional gusts less than 15 mph. Anticipate somewhat more rapid rates of fire spread where fuels and topography are aligned with wind direction. Timbered areas will deliver less fire behavior offering opportunity to capture fires where the fuel change is present.

Wednesday brings some complexity to the fire danger / fire behavior forecast for western Oklahoma; however elevated fire weather parameters and dormant fuels in the northeast quarter of Oklahoma are expected to deliver rapid rates of fire spread in fuels dominated by warm-season grasses. In the northeast, current forecast data holds relative humidity values well above critical values with fine-dead fuel moisture values around 7%. However, stout south winds sustained around 20 mph with gusts 25-35 expected will yield rapid rates of spread in warm-season grasses in the 190-260 ft./min. (2.0-2.9 mph) range with head fire flame lengths averaging 15 ft. Areas where cool-season grasses have greened up as well as timbered fuels will limit fire spread and overall fire behavior offering fire suppression advantages.

Special Note To Public: The weather conditions have been conducive to effective prescribed fire management and is evidenced by the amount of activity in recent days. The forecasted winds on Wednesday in the northeastern quarter of Oklahoma merit attention given to mop-up and patrol of prescribed fires conducted in the last 2-3 days especially where heavier fuels are present in timber and brushy areas. Please take some time to insure that your hard work is secure within established control lines and that areas of heavier fuel concentration are extinguished with emphasis on the northern edges given the forecast wind direction.

Burn Ban Status: No Burn Bans presently in effect.