Fire Situation Report – December 17, 2018

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 12/14/2018 thru 12/17/2018 

NE Area – No New Activity

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – No New Activity

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity

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

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New Activity 

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 12/14/2018 thru 12/17/2018 

17 Fires Burned 100+ Acres (est) – Weatherford, Clinton, Hydro, Arapaho, Corn, Hinton, Geary, Thomas, Foss, Canute, Bessie and Custer City FD’s Reporting

Walker Fire (Roger Mills County) – 800 acres (est), 100% Contained

Statewide Discussion: 

Mild weather for the season will aid in elevating fire danger in the coming days especially in the western and Panhandle counties where no meaningful precipitation has materialized in excess of 50 days in many locations. Energy Release Component (ERC-G) has eclipsed the 50th percentile in the Panhandle as well as extreme northwestern and far western Oklahoma hinting that fuels are trending toward increasing suppression challenges when coupled with elevated fire weather. Surface fuels in the central corridor and across eastern Oklahoma experienced solid drying conditions over the weekend with fuels becoming increasingly available. Moist to saturated soils will continue to limit fireline access with engines and equipment.

Today, a cool start with good overnight moisture recovery combined with some sky cover will compress fire danger concerns into a few hours this afternoon concentrated in the Oklahoma Panhandle and along the western tier of counties where temperatures reach the upper 50°’s and relative humidity values fall below 30%. Light and variable winds early in the day will develop to southerly in this area at 5-10 mph limiting rates of fire spread in western Oklahoma. Winds in the western Panhandle are expected to be sustained nearer to 15 mph with some gusts in excess of 20 mph at times. Grass dominated fuels in the area will exhibit rates of spread averaging 150 ft./min. with 8-11 ft. flame lengths at the head fire while brush dominated fuels will move nearer to 60 ft./min. with 6-8 ft. flame lengths. In central and eastern Oklahoma, fine fuel moisture values are not expected to fall below 7% with many locations registering 8-9% this afternoon. Light and variable to east component light winds will limit fire spread potential; however it is important to keep in mind that elevated soil moisture will hinder engine access in many areas.

Increased sky cover tomorrow will aid in holding fine-dead fuel moisture values above concerning levels. Attention turns toward elevated fire danger indices Wednesday (Panhandle) and Thursday (more widespread). While some rain chances lie within the forecast, dry air and increased winds following the approaching system will likely result in increased fire danger.

Burn Ban Status: No Burn Bans presently in effect.

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