Fire Situation Report – September 12, 2011

Fire Situation Report – September 12, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 09/09/11 thru 09/12/11

NE Area – 9 fires burned 252.5 acres (Causes: 7-Incendiary; 2-Equipment)

EC Area – 1 fire burned 35 acres (Cause: Incendiary)

SE Area – 9 fires burned 82.9 acres (Causes: 8-Incendiary; 1-Equipment) and two structures valued at $60,000.

One large fire occurred in the Protection Area during the reporting period:

Pine Valley (Cherokee County) – Oklahoma Forestry Services dispatched two firefighters equipped with one Type 3 Dozer and one Type 6 Engine to control this equipment-caused wildfire that burned 120 acres eleven miles northeast of Tahlequah.

* 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.

Statewide Discussion:   No requests for State assistance or reports of unusual fire activity were received from outside of the Protection Area during the reporting period.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from Noon to 7 p.m. for the following counties in western Oklahoma:  Harper, Woods, Alfalfa, Major, Woodward, Ellis, Roger Mills, Dewey, Custer, Washita, Blaine, Beckham, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, and Harmon.  Winds are forecast to be sustained from the south-southwest at 15-25 mph, with relative humidity dropping into the 10-20% range and temperatures in the upper 90s.  Any fire that starts today in and near this area will burn very intensely and exhibit moderate to rapid rates of spread.  Short to mid-range spotting is possible with today’s fire weather.

Fire danger in the rest of the state will be very high to extreme, especially west of a rough line from Washington County to Jefferson County.  South-southwest winds near 15 mph with higher gusts, relative humidity dropping into the mid-teens to mid-20% range and temperatures in the mid to upper 90s are expected.  The exceptionally dry fuels present over most of this area when combined with today’s possible fire weather will allow any fire that starts to be very resistant to control.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS:  Firefighting over the next two days will be challenging due to the dry fuels and fire weather forecast.  Expect fast moving fires, spotting, and the possibility of running crown fires.  Due to the dry fuel conditions extra suppression effort and mop up is required to ensure that a fire is dead out.  High temperatures will also put firefighters at risk.  Be sure to remain hydrated throughout the day to prevent heat-related injuries when involved in fire suppression.

County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization today and tomorrow.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC:  Please exercise extra caution during any outdoor activity today and tomorrow due to the very high to extreme fire danger.  Wildland fuels are exceptionally dry and will be very easy to accidentally ignite.     

A Governor’s Burn Ban remains in effect for 61 counties.  Several County Burn Bans are in effect.  For current Burn Ban information click on the following link:

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