Fire Situation Report – August 5, 2011

Fire Situation Report – August 5, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 08/04/11 thru 08/05/11

NE Area – 2 fires burned 8 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary)

EC Area – 6 fires burned 418 acres (Causes: 3-Incendiary; 3-Lightning)

SE Area – 9 fires burned 650 acres (Causes: 5-Lightning; 2-Incendiary; 2-Equipment)

Three fires are currently on-going in the Protection Area with eight firefighters committed. Two large fires occurred in the Protection Area yesterday:

Cloudy (Pushmataha County) – Nine Forestry Services firefighters from the Southeast Area using two Type 2 Dozers, two Type 3 Dozers and four Type 6 Engines assisted by a dozer provided by the Cambell Timber Company extinguished this lightning-caused wildfire that occurred approximately three miles south of Cloudy. Five-hundred acres burned resulting from the combination of extremely dry fuels, rough terrain, and poor access.

Newstate Mountain (Pittsburg County) – Forestry Services committed three Type 3 Dozers, three Type 6 Engines, and seven firefighters from the East Central Area to this lightning-caused wildfire. Difficult access to the fire and extremely dry fuels hampered suppression efforts. The incident occurred seven miles south of Hartshorne and burned 280 acres.

* 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: Initial attack was moderate yesterday. Wildfires that occurred were difficult to control due to extremely dry wildland fuels. Field reports and news footage show active crown fires in hardwood tree crowns. Spot fires across control lines added to fire suppression complexity and resistance to control. Lightning-caused fires were again a major source of fire ignitions yesterday, primarily in eastern Oklahoma.

Aerial suppression assistance was requested on three wildfires outside of the Protection Area:

Deep Rock (Payne County) - An Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter equipped with a 1,320-gallon bucket was dispatched to assist the Cushing Fire Department. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is also committed to the incident. Burnout operations last night were successful. Mop up and securing control lines are planned suppression activities for today. The fire’s cause has been listed as incendiary. Approximately 400 acres burned four miles northeast of Cushing as a result of this wildfire.

Edmond Creek (Oklahoma County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter equipped with a 1,320-gallon bucket was dispatched at the request of the Edmond Fire Department to help with a wildfire that occurred seven miles northeast of Edmond. Several fire departments provided mutual aid on this incident that burned an estimated 120 acres. The heavily wooded area, high temperatures and extremely dry fuels hampered suppression efforts. One abandoned barn was reported lost. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Crescent (Logan County) - An Oklahoma Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket was dispatched to assist the Kingfisher Fire Department on a fire that burned six miles northwest of Crescent. Approximately 400 acres burned as a result of this suspected incendiary-caused wildfire.

Fire danger today and through the weekend will very high to extreme across the majority of Oklahoma. Afternoon relative humidity is expected to drop below 20% each day. Winds will begin to increase today with south-southwest winds from 10-15 mph and higher gusts through Sunday. An Excessive Heat Warning continues through the weekend for most of the State. In addition, fire starts from lightning are possible if thunderstorms develop. Expect any fire that starts to burn very intensely, exhibit rapid rates of spread and erratic fire behavior. Short to mid-range spotting in advance of the flaming front and sustained crown fire runs in hardwoods are possible through the weekend.
The next significant fire weather day is Monday if an anticipated cold front moves into the State. Winds may increase and be sustained from the south-southwest from 15-20 mph with higher gusts, especially west of Interstate 35. County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization on Monday thru early next week.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: The extremely dry fuels that are present across Oklahoma are requiring extra commitment to mop-up to ensure complete suppression. Flare-ups/rekindling of fire is common during the fire weather conditions that we are experiencing. To minimize acres burned and prevent the fire from escaping control and possibly out-flanking your position, start suppression from a good anchor point. Completely extinguish and make sure any control lines worked are completely secure before moving up the fireline.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Intentionally set fires continue to be commonplace. These fires, especially during the current conditions, are a serious threat to firefighter and public safety. Please take time to note suspicious activity and report to local law enforcement or by calling the Arson Tip Line (1-866-662-7766) any information which may lead to the capture of any individual(s) intentionally setting fires.

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:

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