Fire Situation Report – March 27, 2014

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/26/14 thru 03/27/14

NE Area – 2 fires burned 6 acres (Causes: 1-Incendiary; 1-Escaped Prescribed Burn)

EC Area – 0 fires

SE Area – 1 fire burned 1 acre (Cause: Incendiary)

* 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 DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** from recorded on 03/26/14 thru 03/27/14

No wildfires recorded during the reporting period.

** - These statistics are from Fire Departments that have recorded their information on the Oklahoma, Forestry Services web-based Fire Reporting System. Totals do not reflect the total acres burned or total number of fires that have occurred in Oklahoma.

Statewide Discussion: No reports of unusual fire activity or requests for State assistance outside of the Protection Area were received yesterday.

Fire danger today will be highest north of a line from Sequoyah County to Jefferson County. The meager moisture received yesterday will dry off by late morning and will allow fine fuels to be available to burn. Very strong, gusty south winds, low afternoon relative humidity and warm spring temperatures will combine to create a dangerous wildfire situation. By mid-afternoon the relative humidity in this area is expected to drop into the single digits to low 20% range with south-southwest winds in the mid-20 mph range with gusts near and above 40 mph. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 70-80 degree range. Winds in the northwest quarter of the state will be shifting throughout the day from a southerly direction to northerly.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the following counties in southwest Oklahoma: Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Tillman, Comanche, and Cotton. South to west winds from 15-25 mph with gusts from 30-40 mph are forecast in and near this area. Relative humidity this afternoon is expected to drop into the single digits to upper teens with temperatures forecast to climb into the mid-70 to mid-80 degree range.

Any fire burning this afternoon in the area described above can be expected to burn very intensely with rapid rates of spread and erratic fire behavior. Caution is urged with any outdoor activity that could spark a wildfire.

Special Note to Firefighters: Due to the gust spread in this afternoon’s winds, aircraft use for fire suppression may not be possible. In Northwest Oklahoma, fire suppression may be complicated by a wind shift which is forecast to occur during the afternoon hours. Extreme caution is advised today due to the complexity of the fire weather forecast.

County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization later today.

Special Note to the Public: Despite the moisture received yesterday, outdoor burning is strongly discouraged today. The moisture received yesterday will dry off by late morning and fine fuels will easily ignite due to warm temperatures and low relative humidity. The expected strong, gusty winds will allow any fire to easily escape control.

Numerous counties are under a County Commissioner’s Burn Ban. For information concerning burn bans click on the following link:

Report any suspicious wildland fire activity on the Arson Tip Line: 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO ARSON).

Prepared by: Mark Goeller, Ass’t Director, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services