Fire Situation Report – January 17, 2014

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 01/16/14 thru 01/17/14

NE Area – 3 fires burned 79 acres (Causes: 1-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Debris Burn; 1-Other)

EC Area – 1 fire burned 3 acres (Cause: Equipment)

SE Area – 7 fires burned 22.6 acres (Causes: 3-Incendiary; 4-Escaped Debris Burn)

* 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 01/16/14 thru 01/17/14

No fires recorded during the reporting period

** - 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: Critical fire weather conditions developed yesterday afternoon. Suppression of the numerous wildfires that occurred around the state required heavy reliance on local mutual aid fire departments. Reports were received of fires occurring near Anadarko, Perkins, Ripley, Okemah, Edmond, Oklahoma City, and McCloud. Information concerning acreage burned, structures threatened and lost for each of the numerous incidents has not been received. No requests for State assistance were received.

Fire danger will be high to very high across the entire state today. The highest fire danger will be west of a line from Osage County to Bryan County. In this area relative humidity is expected to drop into the single digits to low teens. Winds are forecast to be lighter than yesterday, with west-southwest winds from 5-10 mph with gusts from 15-20 mph. Temperatures are forecast to only reach into the low to mid-50 degree range. Any fire starting today will burn with moderate to rapid rates of spread. Highest spread rates will be where winds and terrain align.

The highest fire danger of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend will be seen on Sunday. The current forecast for Sunday calls for very warm temperatures in the upper 60s to mid-70s. Relative humidity readings in the single digits to low teens are possible with sustained south-southwest winds at 15-20 mph with gusts near and above 25 mph. A Red Flag Warning may be issued as more information is received about Sunday’s actual fire weather conditions.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: Several wildfire responses yesterday were return trips to incidents that had occurred on previous days. Any wildfire that burned during the last few days should be patrolled today and tomorrow to look for hot spots near control lines. Any hot spots or burning snags should be thoroughly extinguished to prevent the fire from escaping during Sunday’s strong, gusty winds.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is discouraged today and through the weekend. Numerous wildfires over the last several days have been started as a result of escaped debris burns. Very dry air and windy conditions allow for any fire that starts to easily escape control. Be extremely careful with any potential ignition source that could spark a wildfire.

A County Commissioner’s Burn Ban is in effect for the following counties: Stephens and Cotton. 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