Fire Situation Report – January 14, 2014

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 01/13/14 thru 01/14/14

NE Area – 1 fire burned 2 acres (Cause: Escaped Debris Burn)

EC Area – 2 fires burned 23 acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Debris Burn)

SE Area – 1 fire burned 3 acres (Cause: Lightning)

* 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.

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** FROM for Time Period 01/13/14 thru 01/14/14

No fires recorded yesterday

** - These statistics are from Fire Departments that have reported their information on the Oklahoma Forestry Services web-based Fire Reporting System. Totals do not reflect the total acres burned or total number of fires that have occurred in Oklahoma.

Statewide Discussion: Wildfire occurrence continued at a steady pace yesterday in central and western Oklahoma. No requests for State assistance were received yesterday.

Very high to extreme fire danger will be seen today near and west of a line from Nowata County to Love County. Moderate to very poor humidity recovery in fine fuels occurred overnight in this area. In and near this area today relative humidity is expected to drop into the 20% range. Very strong, gusty northwest winds behind a passing cold front are forecast to be sustained at 20-30 mph with some gusts possible near and above 40 mph. The strongest wind speeds are forecast for northwest Oklahoma.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for today from Noon until 6 p.m. for the following counties in southwest Oklahoma: Harmon, Greer, Kiowa, Comanche, Cotton, Tillman, and Jackson. Relative humidity readings expected to drop into the 10-20% range with sustained northwest winds from 20-30 mph with some gusts near and above 40 mph. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the 55-65 degree range.

Any fire starting today in the areas described above can be expected to burn very intensely, exhibit erratic fire behavior and have rapid rates of spread.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: Very poor humidity recovery occurred overnight over all but the southeastern third of the state. Favorable burning conditions continued throughout the nighttime hours and fire starts are possible early this morning due to very dry, fine wildland fuels. In addition, any fire that occurred yesterday should be patrolled and any hot spots mopped up to ensure that there are not threats to escape. Especially concentrate efforts on the south and east sides of the fire’s perimeter due to the strong northwest winds expected today.

Due to the rapid rates of spread expected with any wildfire today, the highest probability for success for fire suppression will be a combination of direct attack on the flanks from a strong anchor point with indirect suppression tactics in advance of the head of the fire. Be sure to wear full personal protective equipment when engaged on any wildfire today.

In addition, County Wildland Task Forces should prepare for possible mobilization today. Use of suppression aircraft may be limited today due to strong winds over most of the state.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is not advised today due to the dry, windy conditions that will be present over most of the state.

One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire – Many roadside fires are started due to vehicles dragging chains or continuing to drive on a rim after experiencing a flat tire. The metal dragging across the road surface showers hot metal into the roadside grass. Under warm, dry conditions the grassy fuels are very susceptible to ignition from the hot metal spark. Please ensure that any chains on trailers are secured and unable to reach the road surface. If you experience a flat or low tire, please don’t continue driving. Driving on the exposed wheel rim showers sparks.

A County Commissioner’s Burn Ban currently in effect for Stephens County. For information concerning burn bans click on the following link:

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