Fire Situation Report – October 12, 2015

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Oklahoma Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 10/09/15 thru 10/12/15

NE Area –
EC Area – 2 Fires Burned 10 Acres (1-Incendiary, 1-Equipment)
SE Area – 5 Fires Burned 20 Acres (2-Incendiary, 3-Debris)

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No Activity

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 10/09/15 thru 10/12/15

1 Fire Burned 1 Acre (1-Equipment) ** Additional fire activity was noted in media, however not yet reported through the reporting system.

** - 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:

RED FLAG WARNING - A Red Flag Warning has been issued for 27 counties in central, south-central, western and southwestern Oklahoma from 11:00 am through 7:00 PM. Affected counties include: Kingfisher, Oklahoma, McClain, Cleveland, Garvin, Murray, Carter, Love, Ellis, Roger Mills, Dewey, Custer, Blaine, Beckham, Washita, Caddo, Canadian, Grady, Harmon, Greer, Kiowa, Jackson, Tillman, Comanche, Stephens, Cotton and Jefferson. Outdoor burning of any kind is strongly discouraged!

Oklahoma Forestry Services will have Task Force resources pre-positioned for suppression assistance in western Oklahoma. Additionally, Oklahoma National Guard helicopters will also be available. All requests for assistance should be directed to the Office of Emergency Management at (800) 800-2481.

Strong winds, cold front passage, moderated humidity recovery overnight and warm temperatures will bring critical fire weather early in the burning period to a significant portion of Oklahoma today. In the warned area, the cold front passage this morning will shift winds from the south to the north-northeast sustained 20-35 mph gusting to 35-45 mph. Temperatures will range from 80° in northwest counties to 90° further south and relative humidity will rapidly fall below 20% and then even further to near 10% later in the burning period. Drought stressed herbaceous fuels, critically low large diameter fuel moisture and seasonal drying will create potential for very rapid rates of fire spread and high fire severity today. Head fire behavior could easily exceed 300 ft./min. and exceed that mark where unsheltered fuels are aligned with slope and topography if gusts exceeding 25 mph are sustained..

The remainder of Oklahoma will also experience enhanced fire danger. While not meeting the critical fire weather threshold, drying fuels combined with drought impacts in the southeast and seasonal drying elsewhere will elevate fire danger. The cold front passage will deliver north winds at 15-20 mph gusting to 25 mph, with temperatures 82°-91° and relative humidity values generally 25-30%. The cold front passage will reach southeast Oklahoma late in the burning period.

Special Note to Firefighters: With the fire weather forecast today, it is imperative to review the basic rules for engaging wildland fires. Take 6 minutes to review the LCES with your fellow fire personnel this morning prior to engaging in suppression activities.

· L – Establish lookouts whenever possible to observe fire behavior and potential hazards to personnel committed to suppression efforts.
· C – Establish common communications or strategically assign personnel in an effort to insure reliable incident communications. Do not simply rely on radio communications and be sure that both visual and verbal communications can be maintained.
· E – Establish escape routes for personnel and equipment and make them known. Mark the route with flagging or common landmarks. Escape routes should accommodate a quick retreat of all resources from the fireline.
·S – Establish a safety zone that is large enough to accommodate all personnel and equipment in the event that fire behavior or fire environment safety hazards mandate disengaging fire suppression activities.

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