Fire Situation Report – March 21, 2017


Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/20/17 thru 03/21/17 

NE Area – 4 fires reported, 3415 acres (7 incendiary, 3115 acres; 1 escaped prescribed fire, 300 acres)

EC Area – 5 fires reported, 577 acres (2 incendiary, 270 acres; 1 debris burning, 128 acres; 2 escaped control burn/prescribed fire, 179 acres)

SE Area – 23 fires reported, 180 acres (1 equipment, 5 acres; 22 incendiary, 175 acres)

 Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area:

 Cairo Fire (Coal)-Estimated at 408 acres, cause incendiary, 65% contained.

Sportsman Fire (Pittsburg)-Estimated at 1020 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Johnson Fire (Cherokee)-Estimated at 340 acres, cause incendiary, no estimate of containment.

Candle Fire (Cherokee)-Estimated at 400 acres, cause incendiary, no estimate of containment.

Big Skin Fire (Sequoah)-Estimated at 300 acres, cause escaped prescribed fire, no estimate of containment.

Chewy-Proctor Hill Fire (Adair)-Estimated at 1850 acres, cause incendiary, no estimate of containment.

Dennison Hollow Fire (Adair)-Estimated at 300 acres, cause incendiary, no estimate of containment.

Burnt Cabin Fire (Cherokee)-Estimated at 160 acres, cause incendiary, no estimate of containment.

Buckhorn Fire (Latimer)-Estimated at 110 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

North Sardis Lake Fire (Latimer)-Estimated at 370 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Lukins Ridge Fire (Delaware)-Estimated at 600 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Scratch Out Fire (Sequoyah)-Estimated at 120 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

South Camp Fire (Sequoyah)-Estimated at 450 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

No Name Fire (Cherokee)-Estimated at 4000 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of 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 – As of 0700 hours March 21, 2107 this fire was turned back over to local control. Woodward, Buffalo, Laverne, Slapout, Moorland, Rosston and Beaver Fire Departments will assume control of their respective protection areas. The Complex is currently at 97% containment. A weak front continues to sag through the state. Wind should be out of the north 10-15 mph with gusts of 25 mph and humidity values should remain in the mid-30-40% range. Looking ahead to Thursday and Friday we are forecast to see fire weather conditions return to “Near Critical”. 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.

980 Fire (Lincoln County) – 8-miles south of Wellston, estimated at 47 acres. OFS personnel assisted Jacktown VFD. 100% contained.

Sooner Rock (Murray) – no estimate of acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment, OFS personnel responded.

Briar Creek (Pottawatomie)-Estimated 512 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Cattlee Fire (Rogers/Craig)-No size estimate, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Statewide Discussion: 

Weather today will be dictated by a weak frontal system that extends from northeast Oklahoma down the Interstate 44 corridor to the southwest corner of the state. Areas north and west of this line will see moderated north winds and higher relative humidity values. Areas south of this line will see elevated temperatures, south winds and humidity values in the mid-30% range until frontal system passage. Looking ahead to Thursday and Friday we are forecast to see fire weather conditions return to “Near Critical” levels. There is starting to be discussion regarding a chance of wetting rain over the next 5-7 days. Models show significant moisture forecast for eastern OK, but only trace to .25 for the western counties. For now, do not hang your hat on getting moisture!

 Interstate 44 Corridor North:

Winds from the west and north 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Relative Humidity values 35-40%. Temperatures will be in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. The moderated winds and higher relative humidity will help moderate burning conditions somewhat. However, the lack of rainfall has pushed fuels to near critical levels. Even with the higher humidity values and lower winds, expect fire to still burn actively.

Interstate 44 Corridor South:

A weak frontal system will pass through the state today and into tonight. Winds in advance of the front will be from the south 10-15 mph with gust to 20 mph. Temperatures will be in the upper 80’s to low 90’s. RH should remain in the 30-40% range. After frontal passage the winds will switch around to the north and should moderate to 5-10 mph. Prior to frontal system passage expect fires to burn actively with near complete combustion. After the system passage fires will still burn actively where terrain and winds align.

 

It has been 30+ days since some areas have experienced wetting rain. All fuel classifications continue to drop to critical levels. Light (1-hour timelag) fuels have been calculated at 3% and heavy (1000-hour timelag) fuels have reached single digits in many areas. 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.

Standard Firefighting Orders # 1-3 “Fire Behavior”:

  • Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
  • Know what your fire is doing at all times.
  • Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.

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
  • Air Attack located at Guthrie, Bartlesville, Ardmore
  • Single Engine Airtankers (SEAT’s) located at Woodward and Bartlesville
  • Super Scooper Airtankers (CL-415) located at Burns Flat
  • Heavy Air Tanker (BAE-146) located at Ardmore
  • Heavy Lift Helicopters located at Stillwater, Guthrie, Shawnee and Ardmore

Numerous County Burn Bans are in effect.  For the most current information on Burn Bans click on the following link: http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information