Fire Situation Report – August 9, 2011

Fire Situation Report – August 9, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 08/08/11 thru 08/09/11

NE Area – 6 fires burned 740.5 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary; 2-Equipment; 2-Debris Burning)

EC Area – 5 fires burned 65.1 acres (Causes: 1-Incendiary; 2-Debris Burning; 1-Electrical; 1-Other)

SE Area – 7 fires burned 82.1 acres (Causes: 4-Lightning; 2-Equipment; 1-Debris Burning), with two cabins destroyed valued at $35,000.

One large fire occurred in the Protection Area during the reporting period:

County Line (Delaware County) – This equipment-caused wildfire is located one mile southwest of Tiff City. Two Forestry Services dozers, two Type 6 Engines, and four firefighters from the Northeast Area aided by several fire departments were committed to this fire that has burned 580 acres. One outbuilding was lost to this wildfire.

* 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 during the reporting period. Winds associated with a line of thunderstorms that developed yesterday afternoon contributed to the difficulty in controlling a number of wildfires. In addition, lightning started numerous fires across a large part of central and western Oklahoma. The use of suppression aircraft was also halted as a result of the severe weather. Below is a synopsis of requests for State assistance received during the reporting period:

Asher (Pottawatomie County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook equipped with a 1,320 gallon bucket was dispatched early yesterday morning to assist the Asher Fire Department with this wildfire that has been burning for several days. Approximately 2,000 acres have burned and one outbuilding has been reported lost.

Cleveland #1 & Cleveland #2 (Pawnee County) – Yesterday three Oklahoma Army National Guard helicopters were dispatched to assist the North 48 Fire Department on this wildfire that is on-going at the time of this report. Numerous fire departments were committed to this fire that has burned an estimated 18,000 acres. Severe weather and extremely dry fuels contributed to the difficulty in control of this incident. Approximately 40 homes and numerous outbuildings of last night had been destroyed as of yesterday evening. This fire is part of the Cleveland/Mannford Complex.

Cedar Lane (Cleveland County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter equipped with a 1,320 gallon bucket was dispatched to assist with the Norman Fire Department with this wildfire that occurred approximately ten miles southeast of Norman. No report on the acres lost or cause has been received.

Requests for aviation assistance were received for fires near Tiff City (Delaware County), Pernell (Garvin County), Arnett (Roger Mills County), Yale (Payne County), and Konawa (Seminole County). The requests were unable to be filled at the time of the requests due to all aircraft committed or the time of day the request was made.

Fire danger today will be very high to extreme across Oklahoma, especially in areas that did not receive rainfall associated with yesterday’s thunderstorms. New fire starts from lightning are possible across a broad area of Oklahoma. Relative humidity is expected to drop into the upper teens to low 20% in southern Oklahoma, ranging into the low 30% range in northern Oklahoma. Winds will be variable in direction, sustained from 5-10 mph with higher gusts. An excessive heat warning is in effect for much of eastern Oklahoma.

Any thunderstorm that develops today in the area of a wildfire has the potential to seriously affect firefighting efforts. Possible new wildfire starts from lightning and downdrafts/out-flow winds that could affect on-going fires will be possible today. In addition, strong to severe storms in the vicinity of an on-going fire will prevent the use of suppression aircraft.
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