Fire Situation Report – January 28, 2014

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 01/27/14 thru 01/28/14

NE Area – 8 fires burned 433 acres (Causes: 6-Incendiary; 2-Other)

EC Area – 1 fires burned 8 acres (Cause: Incendiary)

SE Area – 9 fires burned 125 acres (Causes: 6-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Debris Burn; 2-Equipment)

Two large fires occurred in the Protection Area yesterday:

Cold (Cherokee County) – Forestry Services’ Northeast Area committed four Type 3 Dozers, four Type 6 Engines and eight firefighting personnel to this incendiary-caused wildfire that occurred three miles northeast of Peggs. Forestry Services’ firefighters were committed for fourteen hours to this wildfire that burned 180 acres in steep, forested terrain under extreme wind conditions.

Low Gap Mountain (Sequoyah County) – Three Type 3 Dozers, two Type 6 Engines and five firefighters from the Forestry Services’ Northeast Area extinguished this wildfire that burned 120 acres fourteen miles north of Muldrow. A twelve-person firefighting crew from the Bureau of Indian Affairs joined in the suppression of this incendiary-caused wildfire.

* 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 Reporting Period 01/27/14 thru 01/28/14

No wildfires 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: Initial attack and extended attack continued at a steady pace yesterday on the heels of extreme winds and low relative humidity readings following a passing cold front. Light snowfall overnight has assisted with moderating today’s fire behavior and activity. One request for State assistance was received yesterday:

Estes (Caddo County) – An Incident Commander Type 3, four firefighters, two Type 2 Dozers and two Type 6 Engines from Oklahoma Forestry Services were requested by the Cement Fire Department to assist with the control of this large wildfire that burned 267 acres in grass and forested canyons three miles south of Cement. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, County Wildland Task Forces and several fire departments were committed to this incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The highest fire danger today will be generally east of a line from Osage County to Marshall County. In this area little to no moisture occurred overnight. Very poor humidity recovery in fine fuels will allow new fire starts early this morning. Relative humidity is expected to remain in the upper teens to low 20% range. Winds are forecast to remain light, with sustained north-northwest winds less than 10 mph with light gusts. Any fire starting today in this area has the potential to burn with very intensely. The highest rates of spread will be where winds and terrain align.

Fire danger tomorrow will be high to very high across Oklahoma as another cold front approaches the state. The current forecast calls for southwest winds sustained at 15-25 mph with gusts over 30 mph possible. Relative humidity readings from the upper teens to mid-20% range are possible. Temperatures are forecast to remain in the 40 degree range. Wildfires tomorrow are expected to burn erratically with rapid rates of spread due to the dry wildland fuels and predicted fire weather.

Numerous counties are under a County Commissioner’s Burn Ban. 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