Fire Situation Report – September 6, 2011

Fire Situation Report – September 6, 2011

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Time Period 0800 thru 0800, 09/02/11 thru 09/06/11

NE Area – 5 fires burned 586.5 acres (Causes: 5-Incendiary)

EC Area – 4 fires burned 27.5 acres (Causes: 3-Incendiary; 1-Other)

SE Area – 15 fires burned 3,277.8 acres (Causes: 13-Incendiary; 1-Lightning; 1-Equipment)

Four large fires occurred in the Protection Area during the reporting period:

Walker Gap (Adair County) – Two units (two Type 3 Dozers, two Type 6 Engines and four firefighters) from the Forestry Services’ Northeast Area extinguished this wildfire that burned 385 acres eleven miles northeast of Sallisaw.  Dry, windy fire weather and steep timbered terrain hampered suppression efforts.

Caney (Pushmataha County) – This wildfire closed State Highway 3 for a short time on Monday due to extreme fire behavior and heavy smoke.  Forestry Services committed three Type 2 Dozers, three Type 3 Dozers, six Type 6 Engines, and thirteen firefighters from the Southeast Area to the control of this fire that started on Sunday and burned into Monday.  The Oklahoma Army National Guard provided a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket to assist with the suppression efforts.  The wildfire burned 2,110 acres in high value pine plantations owned by multiple timber companies.  Several timber companies and fire departments provided resources to fight this fire that burned five miles north of Sobol.

Blue Hole (McCurtain County) – On Friday this wildfire threatened numerous high value cabins two miles southeast of Hochatown near Broken Bow Lake.  Oklahoma Forestry Services, the US Forest Service, Oklahoma Army National Guard, and Weyerhaeuser Timber Company committed numerous air and ground resources to the control of this lightning-caused fire that burned 446-acres of high-value pine plantation.

Yanubbe Creek (McCurtain County) - Four units (four Type 3 Dozers, four Type 6 Engines and eight firefighters) from the Forestry Services’ Southeast Area extinguished this wildfire that burned 680 acres of high-value pine plantation three miles southeast of Broken Bow.  Weyerhaeuser Timber Company committed dozers, a Single Engine Air Tanker and a Type 3 Helicopter to the suppression effort.  Numerous fire departments also provided mutual aid on this incendiary-caused incident. 

* 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:   Initial attack was heavy across Oklahoma during the reporting period.  Multiple requests for State assistance were received from outside of the Protection Area from one wildfire during the reporting period:

Ferguson (Comanche County) – Oklahoma Army National Guard helicopters assisted with this wildfire that started September 1st  in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.  Numerous structures have been destroyed.   Structures and communities remain threatened and evacuations are in effect.  A National Type 1 Incident Management Team (McGowan) is in place and managing the incident for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Numerous ground resources and County Wildland Task Forces are providing suppression assistance.  Approximately 35,000 acres have burned as a result of this on-going incident.   The cause of the fire is under investigation.  For more information on this incident, click on the following link for InciWeb:

Fire Danger will be high to very high across the state today.  Relative humidity is forecast to range from the mid-teens to mid-20%.  Winds will be mainly from the east at 5-15 mph with higher gusts.  Temperatures are expected to reach into the 80s.  Any fire that starts today will burn very intensely and exhibit moderate to rapid rates of spread.  Short to mid-range spotting is possible with today’s fire weather.

A Governor’s Burn Ban remains in effect for 61 counties.  A County Burn Ban is in effect for Osage County.  For the most 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