Fire Situation Report – January 21, 2014 (time period 01/17/14 thru 01/21/14)

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 01/17/14 thru 01/21/14

NE Area – 17 fires burned 396 acres (Causes: 8-Incendiary; 7-Esc. Debris Burn; 1-Equipment; 1-Other)

EC Area – 6 fires burned 168 acres (Causes: 5-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Debris Burn)

SE Area – 12 fires burned 330 acres (Causes: 9-Incendiary; 3-Escaped Debris Burn)

One large fire occurred during the reporting period in the Protection Area:

Double Ridge (Adair County) – Oklahoma Forestry Services committed one Type 6 Engine, one Type 3 Dozer, and two firefighters to this incendiary-caused wildfire that burned 120 acres in steep, rugged forested terrain five miles south of Stilwell. The Bureau of Indian Affairs assisted with the control of this incident by providing a ten person firefighting crew.

* 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 01/17/14 thru 01/21/14

2 fires burned 80 acres (Causes: 1-Escaped Debris Burn; 1-Other) Reporting Department(s): Jennings FD

** - 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: Initial attack was heavy across Oklahoma over the MLK Holiday weekend. Fire weather conditions deteriorated on Saturday which prompted a Red Flag Warning for much of the State. Red Flag conditions occurred again on Sunday. Information has not been received regarding total fire numbers, sizes, cause data, and structures lost. No requests for State assistance were received.

The highest fire danger today will be west of a rough line from Beckham County to Alfalfa County. Relative humidity readings in the single digits in Cimarron County to low 20% range in the eastern portion of this area are possible. Sustained south-southwest winds at 10-15 mph with gusts near and above 20 mph are forecast. Temperatures are forecast to range from mid-60s in the Panhandle to the mid-40s in the eastern most portion of the area. In this area winds and relative humidity will combine to allow any fire starting today to burn with moderate to rapid rates of spread. Highest spread rates will be where winds and terrain align.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE FIREFIGHTERS: A wind shift is occurring this morning, with winds switching from north-northwest to a south-southwest direction. The wind shift line is currently in the Oklahoma Panhandle, with the strong north-northwest winds diminishing prior to the shift. By 3 p.m. the wind shift line is forecast to be located roughly from Washington County to Love County. Caution is urged if engaging on a wildfire today due to the potential for the winds to shift, causing a change in the head of the fire’s direction. Be sure to begin suppression from a strong anchor point. Ensure that the north and east sides of the fire are secure to prevent escape if and when the winds shift.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is a leading cause of wildfires. Over the weekend several fires occurred as a result of debris burns that escaped the control of the individual(s) that were conducting the burn. These wildfires potentially would have been avoided if the current and expected fire weather conditions would have been checked prior to ignition. Be sure that before conducting any outdoor burning to consult your local Forestry Services office (if applicable) or the local Fire Department to inquire about current fuel conditions and whether your burn can be safely conducted under the current and expected fire weather conditions.

As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, County Commissioner’s Burn Bans are in effect for the following counties: Stephens, Cotton, Pittsburg and Canadian. 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