Fire Situation Report – November 26, 2019


Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS 11/25/2019 thru 11/26/2019 

NE Area – 1 Fire Burned 6 Acres (Cause: 1-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:

  • 1 Fire Burned 53 Acres (Cause: 1-Escaped Debris)

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New Activity

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS from www.firereporting.ok.gov recorded on 11/25/2019 thru 11/26/2019 

  • No New Activity Reported
  • Numerous initial attack fires noted though informal reporting and media outlets

Statewide Discussion: 

A Red Flag Warning is in effect today from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM for the Oklahoma Panhandle, most western Oklahoma counties. The Warning is in effect for Osage and Pawnee counties from Noon through 7:00 PM. (Map of Warned counties to the right). Enhanced fire weather over dormant fuels will promote potential for rapid rates of fire spread this afternoon across the Oklahoma Panhandle, western Oklahoma and portions of northern Oklahoma. Wind speed will be the dominant weather factor with low relative humidity and above average temperatures supporting critical fire weather criteria. Fuels are dormant with fine fuels very receptive this afternoon although fuels in general are below critical values (ER C-G) presenting only moderate resistance to control. While this is a notable fire weather event it will be of short duration with precipitation chances improving Wednesday evening into the Thanksgiving weekend.

Today: Very good to excellent overnight moisture recovery will serve to stall development of concerning fine-dead fuel moisture although that benefit will rapidly erode into the afternoon ahead of a very strong cold front. Strong and gusty southwest winds, above average temperature and low relative humidity values in the Warned Area will support potential for rapid rates of fire spread and erratic fire behavior for a brief period this afternoon. Winds will shift to the northwest with the frontal passage diminishing into the overnight hours. Additionally, temperature drops sharply supporting improvement in fine-dead fuel moisture after sunset.

  • Oklahoma Panhandle: Southwest mid-morning will shift to the west midday increasing as the transition continues to shift northwest during peak burning conditions this afternoon. Northwest winds sustained 25-40 mph with gusts in excess of 50 mph will support potential for rapid rates of fire spread. Temperature 49-58 with afternoon relative humidity values 16-22% will translate into fine-dead fuel moisture values of 5% with some sites possibly tapping 4% if sky cover remains absent. Rangeland fuels will deliver the potential for rates of fire spread 290-360 ft./min. (3.2-4.0 mph) with flame lengths around 20 ft. at the head fire. Wind speeds will diminish after sunset dropping to around 15 mph with lessened gust potential.
  • Western/Northern Oklahoma (Warned Area): The highest fire danger concern will develop early afternoon when alignment of strongest fire weather inputs are present and fine fuels have dried. The strongest winds associated with the approaching front will prevail during the peak of burning conditions in the afternoon hours with temperature 62-72 and relative humidity values 13-25%. Fine-dead fuel moisture observations of 5% will prevail with some local observations of 4% generating very receptive dormant grass fuels. Southwest to west winds in the afternoon sustained 30-40 mph gusting 55 mph (potential for some higher gusts) will encourage rapid to extreme rates of fire spread and erratic fire behavior. Un-hayed/un-grazed rangeland fuels will have potential to produce rates of fire spread 319-427 ft./min.(3.6-4.8 mph) with head fire flame lengths 20-25 ft. during the peak of burning conditions. Winds will shift to the northwest across the western tier after sunset tapering off after 9:00 PM while stout winds continue across northern Oklahoma until midnight. Fine fuels will begin to recover after nightfall with respectable overnight recovery anticipated.
  • Central & Eastern Oklahoma: Elevated fire danger will be present during the afternoon hours although fire weather is not expected to meet critical criteria. Temperatures in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and relative humidity values 25-40% yielding fine-dead fuel moisture values 6-7% are expected with some sites possibly registering 5%. Southwest winds sustained 15-25 mph with higher gusts will support rates of fire spread in tall grass fuels 198-260 ft./min. (2.2-2.9 mph) and head fire flame lengths 12-18 ft. during peak burning conditions. Timber fuels will exhibit moderated fire behavior. Fire behavior potential will decrease with sunset as wind diminish and fuel moisture profiles improve. NOTE: Recent wetting rains have left many low-lying areas saturated warranting caution when committing engines off road. Take time to scout prior to committing engines that may become disabled in soft soil.

Wednesday: Light north winds and much cooler temperatures (39⁰-54⁰) coupled with relative humidity values greater than 28% will serve to reduce fire danger concerns and offer opportunity to contain fires that may have occurred on Tuesday. Precipitation chances ramp up in the evening and persist through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Available Resources: Call (800) 800-2481

  • OFS Task Force – Weatherford
  • OFS Task Force – Woodward
  • National Guard Helicopter (Note: wind speed and gust spread may prohibit aviation resources from flying)

Special Note to Firefighters:

A very strong cold front is expected tomorrow posing a challenging fire environment. The arrival of a cold will include very strong southwest winds shifting to the northwest with frontal passage. Keep current on the location of the cold front throughout the day paying attention to weather information such as “Current Fire Weather Conditions” map generated by the Oklahoma Mesonet that is updated every 5 minutes and con be found in the Mesonet app or at https://www.mesonet.org/index.php/weather/map/current_fire_weather_conditions/current_conditions

Passage of a cold front prompts a clockwise shift in wind direction that generally includes an increase in wind velocity and increasing wind gusts effecting both rate and direction of fire spread. Firefighters are encouraged to anchor the fire at a advantageous location at the heel of the fire and flanking the fire toward the head. Place particular emphasis on the east flank securing the southeast corner as this portion of the fire will become the head fire after the front pases.

Burn Bans:

  • Texas County

Refer to http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info for the most current burn ban information and links to specific burn ban proclamations.