Fire Situation Report – March 12, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 03/11/2019 thru 03/12/2019 

NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 175 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – 1 Fire Burned 20 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside of the Protection Area: No New Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New Activity 

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 03/11/2019 thru 03/12/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported

Statewide Discussion: 

An impactful wind event with strong forecast confidence is poised to affect Oklahoma tomorrow.  Significant wildfire occurrence is not overly concerning given the quantitative precipitation forecast through today and tonight although intrusion of a dry line and strength of the wind field will present potential ignition sources and erratic fire behavior as a result.  Additionally, potential for other wind related, all-hazard responses may limit fire department availability.  To that end, Oklahoma Forestry Services will preposition Task Force resources in western Oklahoma in support of local fire departments. Locations will be identified in the situation report tomorrow morning.  Aviation resources will not be available given the wind speeds.
At the time of this report, the first wave of rain is organizing on the NM/TX state line moving northwest toward Oklahoma.  Current forecasts indicate good potential for wide spread wetting rain in Oklahoma which will serve to moderate fine-dead fuel availability on Wednesday.  However; those rains are expected to shift east through western Oklahoma in the early morning hours and we cannot ignore the subsequent dry line intrusion and very strong winds that will facilitate drying of fuels.  
Wednesday: A dry line coupled with a very strong wind field will prompt some wildfire concerns in western Oklahoma where temperatures will warm into the mid- to upper-60°’s with relative humidity values falling below 30% and clearing skies.  Drying atmospheric conditions coupled with strong winds will facilitate potential for rapid drying of dormant grass fuels.  Southwest winds sustained 35-45 mph with widespread gusts 60 mph across the western half of Oklahoma (65+ mph northwest counties) will support erratic, scudding fire behavior.  Precipitation duration and amount forecasts are expected to result in moderate fine-fuel availability, although an accurate fire behavior prediction will need to be developed following assessment actual precipitation observations with this approaching system. 
Thursday:  Strong northwest winds and dry conditions will encourage increasing fire danger in western Oklahoma.  Again an accurate fire behavior prediction will be issued following assessment of the fire environment.
Next Oklahoma Wildfire Situation Report will be issued at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning.
Burn Ban Status:   No Burn Bans presently in effect.