Fire Situation Report – March 21, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 03/20/2019 thru 03/21/2019 

NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 630 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – 6 Fires Burned 38.3 Acres (Cause: 6-Incendiary)

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: 

  • Buckhorn Fire (Cherokee County) – 630 Acres, 90% Contained
  • Coopers Hollow Fire (Latimer County) – 700 acres, 100% Contained
  • Lane School Rd. Fire (Cherokee County) – 160 Acres, 100% Contained

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 03/20/2019 thru 03/21/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported
  • Additional Wildfire Activity Occurred with Reporting Expected

Statewide Discussion: 

Dry conditions remain in place today with receptive fuels anticipated this afternoon.  Limited rates of fire spread are expected given the light wind speeds.  Rain chances ramp up in the Panhandle and northwest counties Friday afternoon progressing east through Oklahoma into Saturday.   A dry line intrusion on Sunday will need to be weighed against the area coverage of wetting rains and strength of drying to evaluate fire potential late in the weekend.
Fuels will be rather receptive this afternoon subsequent to the rapid drying in the wake of light rains Tuesday evening into Wednesday.  As expected, fire behavior observations in northwest Oklahoma yesterday evening showed negligible effects from the precipitation in the previous 24 hrs..  Current Energy Release Component percentile values or composite fuel moisture indices are not posing resistance to suppression, although engine/equipment access limitations due to wet ground continue to hamper normal tactics.
Temperatures across the state will warm into the mid-60°’s to low-70°’s with afternoon relative humidity values around 30% or lower supporting receptive fuels.
Oklahoma Panhandle: During peak burning conditions this afternoon, temperatures will be 63°-67° with relative humidity values 19-26%.  Sky cover is forecast to edge over the area this afternoon providing some shading of fuels although 6% observations are likely.  Light and variable winds this morning will develop to southerly this afternoon sustained 5-15 mph along with some higher gusts.  Typical grass fuels in the area will support maximum rates of fire spread 82-152 ft./min. and flame lengths at the head fire 9-13 ft.
I-44 Northwest: Temperatures will be 64°-73° with relative humidity values 19-31% this afternoon.  High sky cover will have little effect on fine-dead fuel moisture values that will settle into the 5-7% range with some 4% observations likely in southwestern counties.  Light northerly winds this morning will continue through the day with areas of light and variable expected this afternoon limiting rates of fire spread.  Rates of fire spread well under 100 ft./min with flame lengths less than 8 ft. at the head fire will offer very good probability of initial attack success.  Of note, topographic influences will result in changes in spread direction and rate of spread given the forecasted light wind speeds, and firefighters should monitor development of fire whirls as a potential source of spot fires.
I-44 Southeast:  Any benefit from the light rain amounts in the last 24 hours will rapidly vanish given thee drying conditions today.  Temperatures 63°-71° and relative humidity values 27-34% under clear skies will facilitate rapid drying of fuels today delivering fine-dead fuel moisture observations this afternoon in the 6-7% range in most locations.  Light north-northwest winds around 10 mph will deliver manageable rates of fire spread, although surface moisture continues to limit engine access.  In grass dominated fuels, rates of spread will remain under 100 ft./min. with flame lengths less than 8 ft.  Timber litter fuels will exhibit rates of spread nearer to 10-20 ft./min. and flame lengths 2-5 ft.
Tomorrow moderated fire danger is expected in the western half of the state with increasing sky cover and improved relative humidity values ahead of improving rain chances.  Moderate fire danger will remain in place across the eastern half of Oklahoma although continued light winds will limit fire behavior potential.
Burn Ban Status:   No Burn Bans presently in effect.