Fire Situation Report – March 6, 2012

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/05/12 thru 03/06/12

NE Area – 17 fires burned 1,040 acres (Causes: - 10 Incendiary; - 4 Escaped Prescribed Burn; - 3 Escaped Debris Burn)

EC Area – 5 fires burned 338 acres (Causes: - 2 Incendiary; - 3 Escaped Debris Burn)

SE Area – 4 fires burned 101 acres (Causes: - 4 Incendiary)

Four large fires occurred in the Protection Area during the reporting period:

Sellers Mountain (Cherokee County) – Three Hundred acre fire burned five miles south of Keys, Oklahoma. Three type 6 Engines and three type 3 Dozers, 6 firefighters from Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Northeast Area and four Type 6 Engines twelve firefighters from the Cherokee Nation. Three Type 6 Engines 9 firefighters from the Keys Volunteer fire department help battle the wildfire.

Conde (Delaware County) - The Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Northeast Area committed four firefighters equipped with one Type 6 Engine, two Type 3 Dozers and one Aerial overhead support. One private citizen assisted with extinguishing this Incendiary fire. This 375 acre wildfire was located six miles southeast of Jay, Oklahoma.

Dry Creek Two (Sequoyah County) - This incendiary caused wildfire burned 140 acres 11 miles north of Sallisaw, Oklahoma. The Forestry Services’ Northeast Area committed two Type 6 Engines and two Type 3 Dozers with a total of four state personnel. The Cherokee Nation committed two Type 6 Engines and five personnel. Three Type 6 Engines from Nicut Volunteer Fire Department assisted with the wildfire.

Little McNally (McIntosh County) – This incendiary caused wildfire occurred yesterday and burned 225 acres five miles southwest of Long town. The Forestry Services’ East Central Area committed Five firefighters equipped with two Type 6 Engines and one Type 3 Dozers to the control of this wildfire.

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

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** FROM for Time Period 03/05/12 thru 03/06/12

No wildfires reported on the system yesterday

** - These statistics are from Fire Departments that have reported 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: Initial attack was heavy during the reporting period. Five requests for State assistance were received during the reporting period:

Liberty (Okmulgee County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket was dispatched to assist the Liberty Fire Department on a wildfire that started on Sunday approximately four miles southeast of Liberty. Numerous fire departments and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are committed to the fire. No report has been received as to the fire’s size or cause at the time of this report.

Fog Bottom (Marshall County) – Two Oklahoma Forestry Services firefighters from the Southeast Area were dispatched yesterday to assist with a fire two miles north of Willis. The fire was burning in heavily forested terrain which hampered the local jurisdiction’s ability to suppress the fire. The incendiary wildfire burned approximately 80 acres.

Sasakwa (Seminole County) – A large fire started yesterday evening near Sasakwa in Seminole County. Early this morning two County Wildland Task Forces were deployed to assist with the control efforts. An Oklahoma Forestry Services Operations Specialist will be airborne over the fire this morning to provide information and suppression guidance to the ground resources. Additional State resources may be deployed after a size-up of the wildfire has been completed.

Bowlegs (Seminole County) – Bowlegs Fire Department has requested air support on a large fire burning in rough forested terrain three miles east of Bowlegs. Use of aircraft may not be possible on this incident due to expected high winds later in the morning. Ground resources have been requested from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

One other request for aerial suppression assistance was cancelled by the requestor before the request could be filled. The Tulsa Fire Department requested helicopter bucket support for two fires in the Turley area yesterday afternoon but were able to suppress the fires before a helicopter was able to be launched. No report was received as to the size or cause of the fires.

Fire Danger today will be very high to extreme across Oklahoma again today. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Cimarron and Texas counties in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Southerly winds sustained at 20-25 mph with gusts above 30 mph are expected. Relative humidity is expected to drop into the single digits with temperatures in the 80 degree range. For more information about the Red Flag Warning in the Panhandle, click on the following link to the National Weather Service Amarillo Forecast Office:

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the following counties in eastern Oklahoma: Ottawa, Craig, Mayes, Delaware, Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah, Haskell, and LeFlore. Relative humidity is expected to drop into the 15-20% range with southerly winds sustained at 20-30 mph with gusts from 40-50 mph possible. Temperatures will climb into the 70-80 degree range. For more information concerning the Red Flag Warning, click on the following links to the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office:

Across the remainder of Oklahoma dry, very windy and warm conditions will combine to create very high to extreme fire danger. Sustained southerly winds from 25-35 mph with gusts near and above 40 mph are forecast with relative humidity expected to drop into the 35-45% range. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 70 degree range. Additional Red Flag Warnings may be issued later in the day should fire weather conditions deteriorate below forecast values.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: The use of suppression aircraft in support of wildfires may not be possible today due to strong, gusty winds. County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization today and tomorrow.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged due to the forecast for strong winds and low relative humidity. Any fire started could easily escape control and threaten lives and property.

A County Commissioner Burn Ban is in effect for Cimarron and Texas County. Click on the link listed below for the latest and most current Burn Ban information:

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