Fire Situation Report – March 23, 2017


Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/22/17 thru 03/23/17 

NE Area – 7 fires reported, 782 acres (6 incendiary, 757 acres; 1 escaped prescribed burn, 25 acres)

EC Area – 3 fires reported, 1286 acres (3 incendiary, 1286 acres)

SE Area – 1 fires reported, 80 acres (1 escaped prescribed burn, 80 acres)

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area:

Little Fourche (Latimer)-Estimated 1340 acres, cause under investigation, 74% contained.

Watts (Pittsburg)-Estimated 400 acres, cause under investigation,70% contained.

Peach Creek (Latimer)-245 acres, cause under investigation, 85% containment.

Sportsman Fire (Pittsburg)-Estimated at 1020 acres, cause under investigation, 75% containment.

Big Skin Fire (Sequoyah)-Estimated at 300 acres, cause escaped prescribed fire, 99% contained.

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

Persimmon Ridge (Cherokee)-Estimated at 3700 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Polecat Creek (Muskogee)-Estimated at 450 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Youth Camp(Sequoyah)- Estimated at 150 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Middle Ridge (Sequoyah)- Estimated at 200 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Gettin Down Mountain (Adair)- Estimated at 250 acres, cause under investigation, no estimate of containment.

Lowry (Haskell)- Estimated at 114 acres, cause under investigation, 86% contained.

Cambia 1000 Avenue- Estimated at 2245 acres, cause under investigation, 87% contained.

Red Oak Ridge (Latimer)- Estimated at 149 acres, cause under investigation, 90% contained.

Lost Fire-Estimated at 1267 acres, cause under investigation, 66% contained.

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: 

Blue Water Tower Fire (Hughes)-3 miles west of Dustin, estimated at 769 acres, 75% contained, cause under investigation, OFS personnel assisting.

Gun Range Fire (Okmulgee)-estimated at 1510 acres, 50% contained, cause under investigation, OFS personnel working with Okmulgee and Nuyaka VFD.

Hoppick Fire (Washington)-estimated at 544 acres, cause under investigation, 30% contained.

Hickory Nut Fire (Haskell)-Estimated 611 acres, cause under investigation, 49% contained.

Statewide Discussion:

Red Flag Warning has been issued for Cimarron County in the Panhandle from 2:00 p.m. (1400 hours) to 7:00 p.m. (1900 hours) today.

Fire Weather Watch has been issued from the Norman, Oklahoma forecast office from Friday morning through the afternoon hours for windy conditions.

A strong, upper-level trough is expected to move from the Southwest into the Plains region by Friday morning. As this trough moves eastward, an associated surface low will deepen across the Panhandle. A substantial fire weather risk is expected to evolve as very windy and dry conditions develop behind a dryline. The dryline is forecast to move east to near Highway 75 by late afternoon. West of this line will see gusty southwest winds and relative humidity values in the 20-25% range will create near Red Flag conditions.

Skies are forecast to be partly to mostly cloudy. Winds will be from the south and southwest. Wind speeds should be 25-45 mph with gusts to 55 mph. RH values will be 25-35%, but may fall below 20% behind the dryline. Temperatures should hold in the 70’s and 80’s. Looking ahead to Friday we are forecast to see fire weather conditions move into the “Critical” range. There is a chance for strong thunderstorms to develop. Some of these storms may be strong and there is the possibility of hail up to .5-inches in diameter. Expect winds to have sustained speeds of 15-30 mph with gusts in excess of 60 mph. RH values may fall into the mid-teens. New fire states behind the dryline can have spread rates in excess of 500-feet per minute. This translates to spread rates upward of 6 miles per hour.

There is the possibility of moisture associated with the passing front. The most significant moisture will be in southeast Oklahoma with lesser amounts as you head west. Expect fire conditions to worsen particularly in southwest counties through the weekend. The threat for severe weather is forecast for “slight” through the period. Stay alert to thunderstorm buildup and remember that outflow winds will be strong and gusty.

Thunderstorm Safety: Approaching thunderstorms may be noted by a sudden reverse in wind direction, a noticeable rise in wind speed and a sharp drop in temperature. Rain, hail and lightning occur only in the mature stage of a thunderstorm. Observe the 30/30 rule: If you see lightning and hear the thunderclaps follow in less than 30-seconds, the following storm precautions listed below. Do not resume work in exposed areas for 30-minutes after storm activity has passed. (IRPG Page 21)

  • Take shelter in a vehicle or building if possible.
  • If outdoors, find a low spot away from tall trees, wire fences, utility lines and other elevated conductive objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • If in the woods, move to an area with shorter trees.
  • If only isolated trees are nearby, keep your distance 2X the tree height.
  • If in open country, crouch low with feet together, minimizing contact with the ground. You can use a pack to sit on, but never lay on the ground.
  • If you feel your skin tingle, or your hair stand on end, immediately crouch low to the ground. Make yourself the smallest possible target and minimize your contact with the ground.
  • Don’t group together.
  • Don’t stay on ridge tops, in wide open areas, or near ledges or rock outcroppings.
  • Don’t operate landline telephones, machinery or electric motors.
  • Don’t handle flammable materials in open containers or metal hand tools.

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