Fire Situation Report – December 16, 2016

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 12/15/16 thru 12/16/16 

 NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 3 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – No New Activity

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity 

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside the Protection Area: No New Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No Activity

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

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** from recorded on 12/15/16 thru 12/16/16

1 Fire Burned 1 Acre (Cause: 1-Misc) Guymon FD Reporting

Statewide Discussion: Very-high fire danger indices and potential for extreme rates of fire spread are expected across the Panhandle and western tier of counties in Oklahoma today along with strong winds statewide ahead of a powerful cold front.

A somewhat moist start to the day will give way to warm, dry and windy conditions driving fire danger to very-high for a period of time this afternoon. The highest fire danger today will lie across the Panhandle and western tier of counties including Harper, Woodward, Ellis, Roger Mills, Beckham, Harmon, Greer, Jackson, Tillman, Cimarron, Texas and Beaver. Moist atmospheric conditions this will limit relative humidity values from falling below critical values, but fuels will be receptive to ignition and rapid fire growth this afternoon. Temperatures in this area near 70° with depoint temperatures 30°-35° will result in relative humidity values this afternoon 22-27%. Southwest winds 20-35 mph with gusts 30-45 mph will result in potential for extreme rates of fire spread on active fires. Gusts in excess of 50 mph cannot be ruled out in portions of the Panhandle. Rates of fire spread in excess of 300 ft./min are likely on active fire fronts with ROS even greater where wind and topography are aligned.

Warm and windy conditions will extend across Oklahoma today; however relative humidity values in excess of 45% will reduce potential rates of fire spread and likely result in erratic fire behavior should a fire become established.

As has been widely publicized, artic air will be pushed into Oklahoma overnight resulting in temperatures plummeting into the single digits through the day Saturday. Precipitation chances also increase with winter precipitation likely in northwest Oklahoma into eastern Oklahoma drastically decreasing fire danger through the weekend.

Special Note to Firefighters: The arrival of a cold front in the state today will cause erratic and shifting winds as it approaches. Keep current on the location of the cold front throughout the day. While fighting fire today be aware of the possible impacts of the shifting winds on fire behavior and changing direction of spread.

Passage of a cold front prompts a clockwise shift in wind direction that generally includes an increase in wind velocity. The effect on the fire ground results in both increased rates of spread and a shift in head fire direction. The southeast flank of the fire has potential to turn into the head fire.

No Active Burn Bans

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