Fire Situation Report – August 6, 2011

Fire Situation Report – August 6, 2011 Update @ 1800 Hours

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 08/05/11 thru 08/06/11

Protection Area Statistics not available at the time of this report

* 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 heavy yesterday. Several fires were very resistant to control due to extremely dry fuels, moderate winds, and low relative humidity. Below is a synopsis of fire activity and requests for assistance received at the time of this report update:

Warner (Muskogee County) – Two Oklahoma Forestry Services Type 3 Dozers, a Type 6 Engine and three firefighters from the East Central Area and an Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter equipped with a 1,320-gallon bucket was dispatched to assist the Warner Fire Department on a wildfire located approximately three miles north of Porum. The aircraft was diverted to the Blanco area before arrival since local forces had stopped the fire spread. The fire’s cause and size was unavailable at the time of this update.

Blanco (Pittsburg County) -

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: Aerial assistance has been delayed several times within the last week due to the requesting department not knowing what radio frequencies are programmed into their radios. In addition, firefighting aircraft are able to communicate ONLY on VHF Frequencies. Take the time to get a list of the frequencies that are programmed into your department’s radios and carry the list in each firefighting and command vehicle. The information needed is:

- Narrow or Wide Band Frequency
- Receive (RX) Frequency
- Receive Code Guard or Tone (RX CG)
- Transmit (TX) Frequency
- Transmit Code Guard or Tone (TX CG)

For Air-to-Ground communication, choose a frequency that is not the fire’s primary tactical frequency. Having a primary and secondary frequency

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Again yesterday there were reports of several intentionally set fires. 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