Fire Situation Report – December 20, 2018

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 12/19/2018 thru 12/20/2018 

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 12/19/2018 thru 12/20/2018 

No New Activity Reported

Statewide Discussion: 

Fire danger will ramp up this afternoon across much of Oklahoma as much drier air moves into the state. Fire danger today will be highest in western, northwestern and Panhandle counties although rapid drying of fine fuels in central and eastern Oklahoma will deliver receptive fuels during the burning period. Both temperature and relative humidity observations are not expected to meet Watch/Warning criteria; however fire danger overall will be elevated posing potential suppression challenges.

Northwest Oklahoma / Panhandle: The area is 41-71 days separated from wetting rains with fuels fully receptive. Energy Release Component (ERC-G) has steadily increased with much of the area eclipsing the 50th percentile translating into increasing resistance to fire suppression. Today, temperatures will top out in the mid-50°’s with afternoon relative humidity values falling into the 20-26% range. With no shading from sky cover, fine-dead fuel moisture values are expected to be 5% at most locations. Northerly winds sustained 18-25 mph with higher gusts – some nearing 40 mph in the eastern Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma – will deliver rapid rates of fire spread and potential for erratic and/or problematic fire behavior as well as short-range spotting. Ungrazed, grass dominated fuels in the area will have the capability to produce head fire rates of spread of 285-350 ft./min. (3.2-3.9 mph) with flame lengths 8-20 ft. Moderate fuel moisture recovery is expected following sunset.

Western Oklahoma: The precipitation regime observed in the northwestern counties extends into western and southwestern Oklahoma although ERC-G values are lagging just behind. 54°-58°, relative humidity values 24-29% and clear skies will result in fine-dead fuel moisture values of 6% across the area with several locations observing 5%. Northerly winds sustained 20-25 mph with gusts in excess of 35 mph are expected. Grass dominated fuels with horizontal continuity will produce forward rates of spread 210-300 ft./min. (2.3-3.4 mph) with flame lengths 7-20 ft.). Winds are expected to diminish with sunset although some gusts in excess of 15 mph are likely.

Central / Eastern Oklahoma:  Mist, fog and light rain through the day yesterday will serve to moderate the fire danger threat today compressing it into the late afternoon hours, although persistent winds and drier air will promote rapid drying of fine fuels. Afternoon relative humidity values will settle into the 28-45% (some higher observations on the OK/AR border) with temperatures 50°-58° driving fuel moisture values to 7-8% with 10% observations further east due to increased sky cover. Moderate rates of fire spread are anticipated, although suppression efforts where engines and/or equipment are utilized may be hampered due to soil moisture limiting access. Fine fuel moisture will recover quickly following sunset with very good recovery expected overnight.

Even drier conditions are forecast for the Panhandle Friday and continued dry conditions will hold moderate to high fire danger indices in place across much of the state although lighter south winds will facilitate improved probability of initial attack success.

Burn Ban Status: No Burn Bans presently in effect.

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