Fire Situation Report – March 8, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS for Reporting Period 03/06/2019 thru 03/08/2019 

NE Area – 2 Fires Burned 25.7 Acres (Cause: 2-Incendiary)

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – No New Activity

Large / Significant Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity

Fire Activity with OFS Response outside of the Protection Area: No New Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: 3 Rx Fires Treating 3,777 Acres 

  • McGee Creek WMA – 3,435 Acres, Atoka County
  • Roberts – 300 Acres, Latimer County
  • Crawford – 42 Acres, LeFlore County

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 03/06/2019 thru 03/08/2019 

  • 3 Fires Burned 57 Acres (Cause: 3-Equipment) Tecumseh & Guymon FD’s Reporting

Statewide Discussion: 

Red Flag Warning in effect in Cimarron County today from 12:00 PM through 9:00 PM.  Areas of fog/drizzle, very good overnight moisture recovery and lingering sky cover will limit fire danger from developing across much of the state today.  Storms this evening and overnight are expected to dampen fire danger for much of the state tomorrow; however a dry line intrusion will likely result in elevated fire danger concerns Saturday afternoon in western Oklahoma coupled with passage of a cold front.  Fire danger again relaxes on Sunday with much lighter northeast winds and improved relative humidity values.
Today, the highest fire danger will be present in the Oklahoma Panhandle where some of the driest fuels are present and development fire weather today will meet Red Flag criteria.  Moderate fire danger may develop in the western tier of counties although light winds and moderate fine-dead fuel moisture values pose minimal concern for suppression challenges.
Fire behavior today in the western Panhandle counties may exhibit some resistance to suppression as ERC-G values have pushed above the 50th percentile.  Temperatures will warm into the 67°-70° range with relative humidity values during the peak of the burning period registering 14-18%.  Grass fuels will be very receptive with fine-dead fuel moisture value observations of 4% under partly cloudy skies.  Should skies be clear during peak heating, observations of 3% fine-dead fuel moisture values are possible.  Sustained south winds 15-20 mph with some gusts 35 mph will promote rapid rates of fire spread in grass dominated fuels.  Grazed grasses will exhibit forward rates of spread 150-180 ft./min. and flame lengths 8-10 ft. while continuous, ungrazed fuels will support 310-390 ft./min. (3.5-4.4 mph) and flame lengths nearing 20 ft. especially where fuels and topography are aligned with wind direction.
Saturday will present potential for a brief period of elevated fire danger concern in western Oklahoma and Panhandle counties as very dry air pushes into the state coupled with strong winds in the afternoon.  We have to mention that there may be some mitigating factors including some chances of light precipitation tonight and decreasing wind speeds during peak heating/drying.  Nonetheless, the fire environment in western Oklahoma will likely support enhanced potential for initial attack activity and potential development of some large fire occurrence (300-500 Acres).  Significant fire occurrence probability is very limited with the fuels and weather elements not fully aligned.
Again, there may be development of some mitigating weather factors, but the highest fire danger on Saturday will be present west of a line from Woods County to Tillman County where temperatures 54°-64°, clear skies and afternoon relative humidity values in the 15-25% will drive fine-dead fuel moisture values to 5% (4% in the far western counties if precipitation does not occur).  Winds are forecast to gradually shift from the west-southwest in the morning to northwest by late afternoon with strongest wind speeds midday sustained 20-28 mph gusting 35 mph.  Decreasing wind speeds late afternoon are expected with the gradual clockwise shift in direction.
Homogenous, native grass fuels will support rates of fire spread 300-375 ft./min. (3.4-4.2 mph) and flame lengths 15-18 ft. during peak burning conditions.  Grass/Shrub fuels will are expected to exhibit rates of spread 80-95 ft./min. and flame lengths around 12 ft.  Receptive fine fuel will linger well into the evening hours although much lighter winds will facilitate improved suppression effectiveness.
Burn Ban Status:   No Burn Bans presently in effect.