Fire Situation Report – January 30, 2014

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 01/29/14 thru 01/30/14

NE Area – 2 fires burned 45.5 acres (Causes: 1-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Debris Burn)

EC Area – 2 fires burned 7 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary)

SE Area – 3 fires burned 34.5 acres (Causes: 2-Escaped Debris Burn; 1-Incendiary)

* 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 01/29/14 thru 01/30/14

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 was moderate yesterday across the State with several large wildfires occurring. Details on fire sizes, causes, and structures lost at each wildfire have not been received at the time of this report. Information on one large fire is as follows:

Benson Park (Pottawatomie County) – This 132-acre wildfire occurred approximately two miles north of Earlsboro. Firefighters and equipment from the Earlsboro, Tecumseh, Bethel Acres, and Shawnee Fire Departments responded to control this incident. Also assisting were representatives from Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. An estimated thirty-five structures were threatened by this wildfire that was reportedly started by an escaped debris burn.

The highest fire danger this afternoon will be generally south of a line from Osage County to Cotton County. Expect any fire starting to burn very intensely, exhibit erratic fire behavior and rapid rates of spread. The relative humidity is expected to drop into the upper 20% to low 30% range with sustained south-southwest winds at 20-25 mph with gusts above 30 mph possible. Temperatures are forecast to remain in the mid- 50s to low 60 degree range.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: Poor humidity recovery in fine fuels overnight and strong winds will allow fire ignitions early this morning. Be sure to check the perimeter from any fire occurring yesterday and mop up any hot spots to prevent the fire from escaping control lines.

In addition, a cold front is expected to cross the State today. If engaged on a wildfire today be prepared for a possible wind shift. Winds behind the front are not expected to be as strong as the pre-frontal winds. Regardless, make sure that the south and east flanks of any fire are secure to prevent a loss of control and switch in direction of the headfire.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged today due to expected fire weather conditions. Any fire starting today has the potential to spread rapidly and easily escape control.

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