Fire Situation Report – September 30, 2011

Fire Situation Report – September 30, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 09/29/11 thru 09/30/11

NE Area – 0 fires

EC Area – 0 fires

SE Area – 2 fires burned 132 acres (Causes: 2-Incendiary)

One large fire occurred yesterday in the Protection Area:

West Fork (McCurtain County) – This incendiary-caused wildfire burned 112 acres in a ten year old pine plantation six miles southwest of Bethel. Forestry Services committed an Incident Commander and six firefighters, two Type 3 Dozers, one Type 2 Dozer, and three Type 6 Engines to this incident. Other resources providing assistance on this fire included: a US Forest Service Type 3 Dozer and Type 6 Engine; two Fire Department Type 6 Engines and two Water Tenders; and two Weyerhaeuser contract Dozers, a Single Engine Air Tanker, and a Type 3 Helicopter. The fire was very resistant to control due to strong winds and low relative humidity. Suppression activities for today include mopping up hot spots and patrolling the fire perimeter.

* - 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 for Time Period 09/28/11 thru 09/29/11

No fires reported yesterday

** - 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 yesterday. Firefighters from the Forestry Services’ Southeast Area provided assistance to the Boswell Fire Department on a four-acre wildfire that started as a result of an escaped debris burn.

Fire danger will be very high today across the state. Moderate to poor humidity recovery in fine fuels occurred overnight across the entire state. Relative humidity is expected to drop into the mid-teens in southern Oklahoma to the mid-20% range. Winds will be strongest in southern Oklahoma this morning. Throughout the day, winds are forecast to be from the north-northeast sustained at 5-15 mph. Temperatures will be cooler than yesterday, reaching into the mid-70s to mid-80s.

Fire danger will be on the increase for the next several days in advance of a strong low pressure system that is approaching the state. Over the weekend, winds will be from the south-southeast at 10-15 mph with gusts near 25 on Sunday. The Panhandle could see winds gusting from 20-30 mph on Sunday. Relative humidity readings will range from the mid-teens to 20% range across the state both days.

SPECIAL NOTE TO FIREFIGHTERS: The fire weather that is forecast over the next several days will allow the wildland fuels to again reach critical levels. Winds are forecast to increase in speed each day for the next several days. Wednesday and Thursday of next week winds may be sustained from 20-30 mph with gusts above 40 mph. Any fire that starts in dry, continuous fuels will be highly resistant to control, exhibit erratic fire behavior and rapid rates of spread. Mid- to long-range spotting will be common. Take time to prepare all fire equipment for possible wildfire response. County Wildland Task Forces should be prepared for possible mobilization over the next several days.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: Outdoor burning is discouraged over the next several days due to increasing fire danger. Very dry wildland fuel conditions, low relative humidity and strong, gusty winds later today 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:

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