Fire Situation Report – August 19, 2011

Fire Situation Report – August 19, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 08/18/11 thru 08/19/11

NE Area – 0 fires

EC Area – 0 fires

SE Area – 2 fires burned 2 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary)

* Protection Area Statistics do not reflect local fire department’s fire run information. Statistics are for the ODAFF-Forestry Services’ eighteen county Fire Protection Area in eastern Oklahoma unless otherwise noted in the Discussion section of this report.

Statewide Discussion: A summary of yesterday’s State-provided assistance outside of the Protection Area is listed below:

Highway 30 (Beckham County) – Ten Forestry Services firefighters from the East Central and Southeast Areas equipped with dozers and Type 6 Engines demobilized and returned to their home units from this wildfire. The fire is now 100% contained. The fire burned 1,385 acres in steep, broken terrain approximately ten miles south of Erick.

Ravia (Johnston County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk equipped with a 660-gallon bucket was dispatched late yesterday afternoon at the request of the Ravia Fire Department. This wildfire has burned approximately 3,500 acres 9.5 miles northeast of Tishomingo. Numerous fire departments were committed to this incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire danger today and through the weekend will be high to very high across Oklahoma. Relative humidity is expected to drop below 20% in SW Oklahoma and into the 20-30% range elsewhere. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 100 degree range. A frontal boundary will push into the State tomorrow, bringing with it a chance for thunderstorms. Winds in advance of the front will be generally from the south sustained at 5-10 mph with higher gusts. Behind the front winds are expected to shift out of the north-northeast.

Isolated thunderstorms are possible today and through the weekend across the state. If a thunderstorm develops near an on-going wildfire, fire control personnel should be prepared for a sudden increase in fire activity or change in fire spread if the fire is influenced by thunderstorm winds or outflow boundaries.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: Wildland fuels remain critically dry despite recent rainfall. The majority of fire’s that have occurred in the last week have exhibited extreme fire behavior and resistance to control. Fire weather and wildland fuels are not in ‘normal’ conditions, therefore ‘normal’ strategy and tactics may not be effective. The possibility of thunderstorms in the area of any fire will complicate fire control and may compromise safety. To maximize safety, don’t let your guard down and continue to use extreme caution when responding to wildfires.

A Governor’s Burn Ban is in effect for the entire State of Oklahoma. For the most current information on Burn Ban click on the following link:

http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information

Report any suspicious wildland fire activity on the Arson Tip Line: 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO ARSON).

Prepared by: Mark Goeller, Ass’t Director, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services