Fire Situation Report – March 19, 2017

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

 PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/18/17 thru 03/19/17 

NE Area – 0 fires reported

EC Area – 0 fires reported

SE Area – 0 fires reported

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area:

South Springs Mountain Fire (Latimer) Estimated at 500 acres and 80% containment.

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No Activity

* Protection Area Statistics do not reflect local fire department’s fire run information. Statistics are for the ODAFF-Forestry Services’ fifteen county Fire Protection Area in eastern Oklahoma unless otherwise noted in the Discussion section of this report.

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside the Protection Area: 

Northwest Oklahoma Complex – This Complex is being managed under Unified Command with the Southern Region Red Team (Type 1 IMT with Mike Dueitt, Incident Commander) and Woodward, Buffalo, Laverne, Slapout, Moorland, Rosston and Beaver Fire Departments. The Complex is currently at 92% containment. Numerous OFS overhead, heavy equipment, Type 6 Engines and aircraft are assigned to the complex to assist local fire departments with the control efforts. Other state forestry resources from Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee are committed to the firefighting effort. An Incident Command Post is established at the Woodward County Fairgrounds to facilitate briefings, resource assignments and ordering. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire area from 12:00 noon through 8:00 p.m. (CDT) Sunday for very strong winds, very warm temperatures and low relative humidity. Any new starts may quickly exceed initial attack capabilities. Resources will continue working existing control lines and mopping-up hot spots to strengthen the fires’ perimeter. An Initial Attack Module has been identified to provide a rapid response to any new starts within the protection area. Utility companies have started to replace power poles and lines damaged by the fire. There were no changes in fire perimeters during the previous burning period.

Starbuck (Beaver and Harper County) – 662,687 acres total (464,308 acres in Kansas and 198,379 acres in Oklahoma). Near the Oklahoma communities of Buffalo, Knowles, Gate, Rosston and Laverne. Numerous residences, secondary structures, livestock and other infrastructure lost. Damage assessments are on-going.

Selman (Harper and Woodward County) – 47,289 acres, located approximately 10 miles north of Woodward. No estimate on residences or secondary structures lost. Damage assessments are on-going.

283 Fire (Harper County) – 69,395 acres, located near the communities of Rosston, Laverne and May. Damage assessments are on-going.

Beaver Fire (Beaver County) – 2,962 acres, located between Beaver and Elmwood along highway 273. Damage assessments on-going.

Statewide Discussion: Red Flag Warning in effect for 15-western Oklahoma counties.

Panhandle: Today the area is forecast to experience winds gusting 25-30 mph, relative humidity in the single digits, and temperatures in the mid-90’s. Fire weather conditions are expected to reach “Near Critical” to “Critical” levels today. Monday will see a return to “Elevated” or “Near Critical” fire weather conditions with moderating winds switching to the NW, relative humidity values will increase slightly to the mid-teen range and temperatures will be in the mid-80’s to 90 degrees. Rapid initial attack will be important in keeping fires small. All new starts have the potential to exceed initial attack on any new start that grow to 10+ acres.

 Western/West Central: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire area from 12:00 noon through 8:00 p.m. (CDT) Sunday for very strong winds, very warm temperatures and low relative humidity. Monday will continue to see fire weather parameters “Near Critical” with wind gusts to 30 mph, relative humidity values in the mid-teens to 20’s and temperatures in the upper 80’s to low 90’s. Any new starts will quickly exceed initial attack capabilities.

Central/East Central/

Eastern: “Elevated” fire danger conditions are predicted for Sunday. Extremely dry fuel conditions, coupled with winds gusting to 35+ mph and temperatures near 90°F will create conditions for very rapid fire spread, extended flame lengths and near complete fuel consumption. RH values should remain in the 30% range. These conditions are compounded for counties NW of Interstate 44 due to extremely low fuel moistures. Monday conditions will remain nearly the same.

Sunday will require all firefighters to maintain “Situational Awareness” (SA) for both firefighter and public safety. Always size-up fires; establish a safe anchor point; never attempt a frontal assault on a fast-moving head fire; and, establish and maintain good communication with all resources. Expect any fire that starts today to burn with very high intensities and rates of spread. Spread rates could exceed 300 feet per minute (one football field) with flame lengths in excess of 20 feet. Highest spread rates will be experienced where terrain and winds align and where RH values fall below 20%. Firefighters should always be aware of changing weather conditions. Expect good nighttime humidity recoveries.

Remember to always have LCES (Lookouts, Communication, Escape Routes and Safety Zones) in place prior to engaging resources!

Resources: To request assistance, call the Resource Hotline (800) 800-2481

  • OFS Engine/Dozer Task Forces on stand-by
  • National Guard Helicopter available, but limited
  • County Wildland Task Force Resources should assess availability for mobilization

Numerous County Burn Bans are in effect.  For the most current information on Burn Bans click on the following link: