Fire Situation Report – March 16, 2015

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Oklahoma Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 003/13/15 thru 03/16/15

NE Area – No Activity

EC Area – No Activity

SE Area – No Activity

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No Activity

Large Fire Activity with OFS Response outside the Protection Area: No Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No Activity

* Protection Area Statistics do not reflect local fire department’s fire run information. Statistics are for the ODAFF-Forestry Services’ fifteen county Fire Protection Area in eastern Oklahoma unless otherwise noted in the Discussion section of this report.

FIRE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS** from www.firereporting.ok.gov recorded on 03/13/15 thru 03/16/15

3 Fires Burned 2.0 acres (Cause: 2-Misc., 1-Debris)

** - These statistics are from Fire Departments that have recorded 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:
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for twenty-one counties today in northern and western Oklahoma. Counties listed in the warning area include: Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woods, Alfalfa, Ellis, Woodward, Major, Roger Mills, Dewey, Custer, Beckham, Grant, Kay, Garfield, Noble, Blaine, Kingfisher, Osage and Pawnee. The watch is in effect from 11:00 AM through 8:00 PM in western counties and from 12:00 PM through 7:00 PM in counties further east. Outdoor activities that may spark a wildfire are strongly discouraged.

Fire weather conditions combined with dormant, drought-stricken fuels will support the potential for very active fire behavior today. Rates of spread in grass fuels may exhibit rates of spread in excess of 300 ft./min. especially when the fire environment factors are aligned.

In the watch area, temperatures will be 80°-87° with afternoon low relative humidity dropping to 9-20%. Winds are expected to be sustained at 20-25 mph with gusts near 35 mph. Again, the resultant fire behavior has potential to exhibit extreme rates of spread especially if wind, slope are aligned with adequate dry fuels.

South-central and south-eastern Oklahoma have received beneficial rainfall as of late, however fine fuels will dry quickly today and support the potential for active fire behavior. Fire weather in this area of the state will not approach watch/warning criteria thanks in large part to higher dew points and resulting elevated relative humidity. Temperature will be in the upper-70°’s with relative humidity values in the 30-36% range. Winds will be southerly and generally less than 10 mph.

Special Note to Firefighters:
Dry and dormant fuels combined with warm temperatures, stiff winds and low relative humidity can produce rapid rates of fire spread in typical Oklahoma fuels. Utilize safe and effective engine tactics by establishing an anchor point and progressing along the fire flanks while working from the black ensuring that your personnel and equipment are maintaining and escape route to a safety zone. Take a few moments to reference the Oklahoma Wildland Tailgate issue that focuses on Engine Tactics. This issue can be found at www.forestry.ok.gov/tailgate.

Remember… ONLY YOU can prevent wildfires! Enjoy Oklahoma’s wildlands responsibly.

Report any suspicious wildland fire activity on the Arson Tip Line: 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO ARSON).

Prepared by: Drew Daily, Fire Staff Forester, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services