Fire Situation Report – November 18, 2019

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS 11/15/2019 thru 11/18/2019 

NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 20 Acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary)

EC Area – 2 Fires Burned 26 Acres (Cause: 1-incendiary, 1-Esacaped Control Burn)

SE Area – 2 Fires burned 55 Acres (Cause: 2-Incendiary)

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: No New Activity

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from recorded on 11/15/2019 thru 11/18/2019 

  • 2 Fires Burned 553 Acres (Cause: 2-Misc., 1-Equipment)
  • Casket Fire (Custer County) – 503 Acres, 90% Contained)
  • Numerous initial attack fires noted though informal reporting and media outlets

Statewide Discussion: 

Wildfire activity through the weekend met expectations with an increase in initial attack along with some large fire activity. Initial attack efforts proved successful, although an abundance of available fuel proved challenging on some incidents. Warmer than normal temperatures are expected during the first half of the week ahead of precipitation chances that enter the forecast Wednesday through Friday. While no critical fire environment elements are expected, continued initial attack activity is expected with limited large fire potential in rangeland fuels on Tuesday given the current drying trend and gusty south winds in advance of rain chances Wednesday.

Today: The highest fire danger indices will again reside in western and Panhandle counties gradually moderating to the east. Clearing skies into the afternoon coupled with temperatures near 70⁰ and relative humidity values 23-35+% will yield fine-dead fuel moisture values 5-6% in the Panhandle and western counties during the peak burning conditions while 7-8% observations are more likely east. The passing surface trough will prompt a wind shift from southwest to northwest although wind speeds are expected to support only moderate rates of fire spread of 155-200 ft./min. with 12 ft. flame lengths at the head fire in rank rangeland fuels. 

 Tuesday: Southerly winds return coupled with continued warm temperatures although relative humidity values are expected to remain above 25% excluding the western two-thirds of the Oklahoma Panhandle where <20% observations are likely. Again, the highest fire danger indices will be present in the westenr third of Oklahoma where fine-dead fuel moisture values of 5-6% (4% possible in Cimarron County). Rangeland fuels will have potential to produce 180—220 ft./min. with 12 ft. average flame lengths at the head fire (increased fire behavior expected where fuels are aligned with slope and topography). 

Fire danger is expected to diminish later in the week with increased moisture, sky cover and precipitation chances. Rain chances Wednesday into Thursday and rain/mixed precipitation chances Thursday night into Friday are currently forecast to provide wetting amounts more likely east than west. An evaluation of precipitation amounts and duration will be required to assess fire danger potential into the warming/drying trend initiation with the weekend.

Special Note to Firefighters: Sizing up a fire upon arrival is critical to establishing safe, effective and efficient fireline operations. The fire environment is dynamic and sometimes complex forcing quick decisions based on sound training and experience. The basis for making accurate and timely decisions on the fire ground is rooted in a good “sizeup”. Ask yourself the following questions to assess the fire environment:

What is the size of the fire, and what is it burning in?

Is adverse topography or access present?

Are weather factors posing any challenges?

Are there structures and improvements to be protected?

Are there hazards present such as utilities, fences, terrain?

Are there opportunities already in place to halt fire spread?

Taking a moment to answer these questions forms the basis to make a good assessment and begin the process of turning the firefight from reactive efforts toward proactive strategy and tactics. Answers to those questions also start the process of determining the following:

Anchor point from which to begin firefighting efforts.

Escape routes and safety zones for personnel and equipment.

Incident objectives.

Additional resource needs.

Remember… ONLY YOU can prevent wildfires! Enjoy Oklahoma’s wildlands responsibly.

Report any suspicious wildland fire activity on the

Arson Tip Line: 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO ARSON).