Fire Situation Report – October 3, 2011

Fire Situation Report – October 3, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 09/30/11 thru 10/03/11

NE Area – 1 fire burned 1.5 acres (Cause: Escaped Debris Burn)

EC Area – 9 fires burned 283 acres (Causes: 4-Incendiary; 3-Escaped Debris Burn; 2-Equipment)

SE Area – 3 fires burned 82 acres (Causes: 3-Incendiary)

One large fire occurred in the Protection Area on Saturday:

Rock Pit 35 (Haskell County) – The Forestry Services’ East Central Area used six firefighters, three Type 3 Dozers and three Type 6 Engines to control this wildfire.  The fire burned 160 acres in rugged, forested terrain three miles south of McCurtain. 

* - 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.  Large fires are defined as having burned over 100 acres in timbered areas or 300 acres in grass fuels.

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** FROM www.firereporting.ok.gov for Time Period 09/30/11 thru 10/03/11

1 Fire Burned 200 acres (Cause: Escaped Debris Burn)

** - 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:  One request for State assistance was received from outside of the Protection Area during the reporting period.  The Vivian Fire Department requested assistance on a wildfire west of Eufaula, but cancelled the request prior to the arrival of Forestry Services resources.  No report was received on the fire’s size or cause.

Very dry conditions will exist over most of Oklahoma today.  Fire danger will continue to increase throughout the week as relative humidity will be low each day with winds predicted to be strong and gusty.

The highest fire danger today will be west of a line from Osage County to Harmon County.  Relative humidity is expected to drop into the low teens to low 20% range.  Winds are forecast to be sustained from the south at 15-25 mph with gusts near and above 30 mph.  Many locations in this area have critically dry wildland fuels.  Any fire starting today will have the potential to be very resistant to control, exhibit erratic fire behavior and have rapid rates of spread.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from Noon to 9 p.m. for the following counties in northwest Oklahoma:  Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper and Ellis.  Moderate humidity recovery in fine fuels occurred overnight in this area.  Relative humidity is expected to drop into the low to mid-teens with sustained southerly winds 15-25 mph with gusts above 30 mph.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS:  County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization over the next several days.   

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC:  Outdoor burning is discouraged this week due to increasing fire danger.  Very dry wildland fuel conditions, low relative humidity and strong, gusty winds may allow any fire to easily escape control. 

A Governor’s Burn Ban remains in effect for 28 counties and County Burn Bans are in effect for several others.  For current Burn Ban information click on the following link:

http://www.forestry.ok.gov/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