Fire Situation Report – December 23, 2019


Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS 12/19/2019 thru 12/23/2019 

NE Area – 2 Fires Burned 16 Acres (2-Incendiary)

EC Area – 1 Fire Burned 0.5 Acres (1-Incendiary)

SE Area – 4 Fires Burned 24.1 Acres (3-Incendiary, 1-Lightning)

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 www.firereporting.ok.gov recorded on 12/19/2019 thru 12/23/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported
  • Initial attack fire activity noted through informal reporting and media outlets.

Statewide Discussion: 

Initial attack activity spiked last Thursday with a very dry airmass supporting receptive fine fuel. Dew point temperatures are looking much better this week especially east of the 100th meridian (OK/TX border) noting that west of the 100th in the Oklahoma Panhandle elevated fire weather is expected with relative humidity values dropping as low as 7% today. Warm temperatures are expected through Thursday ahead of a weather system that presently holds some promise of precipitation in areas of Oklahoma sorely in need of a wetting rain.

Today: The highest fire danger indices will reside in the Oklahoma Panhandle and the western tier of counties where temperature 68-72 and afternoon relative humidity values as low as 7-8% in Cimarron County with 10-20% expected within the area. Given those inputs, fine-dead fuel moisture values of 4-5% are expected given some sky cover and 3% potential in the far western Panhandle given clearing skies. South-southwest winds sustained 8-15 mph with some gusts near 20 mph this afternoon will support moderate rates of fire spread 99-140 ft./min. with head fire flame length 9-11 ft. Energy Release Component values have pushed near the 50th percentile surpassing in some areas pointing to moderate resistance to control. For the bulk of Oklahoma, fog and moist atmospheric conditions early in the day will serve to stall development of fire danger. Temperatures will push into the 60’s this afternoon with gradually clearing skies supporting only a brief period of fuels receptiveness this afternoon. Southerly winds generally 10 mph or less will yield limited rates of fire spread.

Tuesday: Above normal temperatures continue (low-60’s to near-70) and southerly winds slightly increase sustained 10-15 with some gusts in the afternoon exceeding 20 mph. Fine-dead fuel moisture values will hover above critical values given increasing sky cover in the Oklahoma Panhandle and dew point temperature 30 or higher. Again, the highest fire danger indices will reside in the Oklahoma Panhandle and western Oklahoma during a brief period in the afternoon. Fire behavior is not expected to pose much resistance to control. 

Christmas: Ahead of the next projected storm system, southwest winds are expected to increase to 15-20 mph with gusts nearing 30 mph supporting potential for moderate to rapid rates of fire spread especially along and west of the I-44 corridor. Temperatures in the low-60’s to just above 70 coupled with afternoon relative humidity values 27-35% in the area will yield fine-dead fuel moisture values 6-7%. Rates of fire spread 144-205 ft./min. with head fire flame lengths 10-13 ft. should be anticipated. Fires are not expected to exhibit undue resistance to control, although rate of fire spread may prove a bit challenging on any fire that becomes established.

Late Week: A storm system is expected to impact Oklahoma Thursday night into the weekend. National Weather Service forecasts point to some disagreement between different models with potential for a pattern shift although the opportunity for some wetting precipitation is promising. Should the current expectation change unfavorably with regard to fire danger, an updated Situation Report will be issued later in the week add. Otherwise, the next update is planned for Monday, December 30, 2019.

Special Note to Firefighters: 

As we approach the New Year, firefighters across Oklahoma are encouraged to focus on the basics of wildland firefighting insuring that on the ground tactics are supported in strategy rooted in incident responder safety and tactical effectiveness. Take a few moments to review and discuss the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders, Lookouts/Communications/Escape Routes/Safety Zones, Common Denominators of Fire Behavior on Tragedy Fires, basic tactics that are adapted given observed and expected fire behavior and also review department/agency policy and procedure. A resource to facilitate discussion is the “Back to Basics” edition of the Oklahoma Wildland Tailgate Series available at http://www.forestry.ok.gov/tailgate .

Burn Bans:

  • Texas County (12/30/19)

Refer to http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info for the most current burn ban information and links to specific burn ban proclamations.