Fire Situation Report – September 11, 2015

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Oklahoma Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 09/08/15 thru 09/11/15

NE Area – No Activity
EC Area – No Activity
SE Area – 2 Fires Burned 28 Acres (1-Escaped Debris, 1-Equipment)

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 recorded on 09/08/15 thru 09/11/15

2 Fires Burned 11 Acres (1-Escaped Prescribed Fire, 1-Escaped Debris) – Tecumseh FD Reporting

** - 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 dose of precipitation early in the week was just enough to calm increasing fire occurrence. The eastern one-third of Oklahoma received 1” – 2” of rainfall with some localized areas registering in excess of 4” while the western two-thirds of the state received a trace to around 0.25”. An area of southcentral Oklahoma including Love, Carter, Marshall and Bryan Counties has indications of building fire danger due to a localized lack of precipitation in the last two months, diminishing soil moisture and decreasing fuel moisture. This area will merit monitoring in the coming weeks should adequate precipitation events not occur.

No significant fire activity is anticipated over the weekend or into the beginning of next week as precipitation again moves through the Panhandle as well as northern and eastern Oklahoma. The early part of the weekend promises cooler temperatures, but warmer and drier conditions are expected to return by mid-week especially in western Oklahoma which may prompt a return to rising fire danger indices.

Special Note to Firefighters:

The growing season is beginning to wane with grasses and forbs beginning to show signs of entering dormancy, and leaf fall will begin in the not too distant future. As wildlands across Oklahoma make this transition “fire season” will begin to develop.  An in depth look into the fire environment enhances preparedness by examining the key components: Fuels, Weather, and Topography.  The last of those, topography, is relatively constant, but changes in both fuel conditions and weather are dynamic and are the most significant contributors to overall fire behavior and severity. Below we address the general state of fuels in Oklahoma.

Fuels:   Ample precipitation in May and June prompted hearty annual growth in grasses and forbs; however live fuel moistures have mitigated the fuel availability for combustion in large part through the growing season. As grass fuels edge nearer to dormancy they will become more available and be considered dead-fuels subject to rapid changes in fuel moisture prompted by relative humidity, fuel temperature and sheltering effects (such as shading). Larger fuels, typically woody, are slower to react to ambient atmospheric conditions. Larger fuels, when available for combustion, contribute to overall intensity, severity and resistance to suppression actions.

Presently, live fuel moisture in grass dominated fuel types and shading in timber fuel types have mitigated overall fire danger in Oklahoma. Larger dead-woody fuels are still reflective of lingering drought effects. Active fire behavior has primarily occurred in grass dominated fuels (and some pine forest locations) that are absent of the shading of hardwood canopy cover.

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