Fire Situation Report – April 9, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 04/08/2019 thru 04/09/2019 

NE Area – 4 Fires Burned 26 Acres (Cause: 3-Escaped Debris, 1-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – No New Activity

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity

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 04/08/2019 thru 04/09/2019 

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

Statewide Discussion: 

Escalating fire danger fully anticipated into Wednesday that will remain in place on Thursday despite noticeably cooler temperatures. The fire-effective weather system that will be in place is consistent with numerous past events that have both resulted in a very noticeable increase in initial attack activity and some probability of large and/or significant fire occurrence. The general condition of the fuels in Oklahoma is not nearly as dire as the conditions last year, or recent years, which will serve to lessen the impact. However, high-impact fire weather occurring over available fuels will result in potential for problematic to extreme fire behavior. The greatest concern will reside in northwestern Oklahoma and the eastern half of the Oklahoma Panhandle with near-critical conditions throughout much of the state.

A Fire Weather Watch is in effect for seventeen (17) western Oklahoma counties including Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woods, Ellis, Woodward, Roger Mills, Dewey, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Harmon, Greer, Kiowa, Tillman and Jackson Counties for Wednesday, April 10, 2019 with upgrade to Red Flag Warning expected.

Today: Very warm and dry conditions across Oklahoma will facilitate rapid drying of dormant vegetation increasing fuel availability in rangeland fuels as well as drier timber dominated sites. Moderate resistance to fire suppression effort will be evident today in rangeland fuels. Elevated fire danger will develop statewide with the greatest indices in the western one-third of the state where increasing winds and development of gusts are most likely by afternoon. Temperature today will range in the mid- to upper-80°’s with afternoon relative humidity values in most location below 30% (11% in western Panhandle with 30% generally east of I-35). Unshaded fine fuels under clear skies will register as low as 3% in the Panhandle, with 4-5% prevalent across much of the state resulting in very receptive dormant grass fuel loads. Light and somewhat variable winds this morning will become southerly this afternoon remaining light east of I-35. In western Oklahoma, south winds will increase to 10-20 mph gusting 25-28 mph facilitating moderate to rapid rates of fire spread in available dormant grass fuels. Rangeland fuels in western Oklahoma will likely exhibit rates of spread 145-255 ft./min. with head fire flame lengths 12-15 ft. in the northwest and eastern Panhandle

Tonight: Southerly winds are forecasted to sustain and potentially increase through the overnight hours. Fine-dead fuel moisture will experience diurnal recovery limiting fire spread potential although likelihood of moderate overnight moisture recover centered in the western counties will set the stage for an extended burning period on Wednesday.

Wednesday: High to extreme fire danger indices will be present across Oklahoma. Increased initial attack activity is very likely with potential for some large fire occurrence (>300 acres) most likely along, north and west of the I-44 corridor. There is a moderate threat of significant fire occurrence in northwest Oklahoma and eastern half of the Oklahoma Panhandle. A strong surface low-pressure system over Kansas will result in stout, gusty south winds – strongest in western Oklahoma where gusts approaching 50 mph expected. A dry line intrusion will promote very dry conditions in the Oklahoma Panhandle and western tier of counties complicated by a cold-front passage; however dry conditions will be present statewide. Given progression of green-up, numerous breaks in the fuelscape are present although rangeland fuels will be generally available supporting active fire behavior, again along, north and west of I-44. Problematic to extreme fire behavior should be expected with rapid rates of fire spread in dormant rangeland fuels on the order of 270-380 ft./min (3.0-4.3 mph) in northwest Oklahoma. There is also potential for rapid rates of fire spread on established fires across northern Oklahoma where green up conditions are lagging behind in tall-grass dominated landscapes in a range from 240-312 ft./min. (avg. 3.0 mph)

Thursday: Elevated fire danger concerns will remain in the post-frontal fire environment despite cooler temperatures and somewhat improved afternoon relative humidity values. The strength of drying in days previous coupled with retention of stout winds that shift to the northwest will continue to support very active fire behavior.

Special Note to Firefighters: A Firefighter Safety Briefing addressing the challenges, advantages and strategy/tactics implications present in Wednesday’s fire environment will be issued this afternoon.

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
  • OHP Observation Aircraft w/ OFS Operations Specialist

Burn Ban Status: No Burn Bans presently in effect.