Fire Situation Report – March 17, 2017

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/16/17 thru 03/17/17 

 NE Area – 1 fire burned 3 acres (Cause: 1-Incendiary 3 acres)

EC Area – 3 fires burned 470 acres (Cause: 1-Incindiary 320 acres, 1-Escaped Prescribed Burn 90 acres, 1-Debris Burning 60 acres)

SE Area – 0 fires reported

 Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area: South Springs Mountain Fire (Latimer) Estimated at 500 acres and 75% containment.

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 Activity with OFS Response outside the Protection Area: 

Northwest Oklahoma Complex – This Complex is being managed under Unified Command with the Southern Region Red Team (Type 1 IMT with Mike Dueitt, Incident Commander) and Woodward, Buffalo, Laverne, Slapout, Moorland, Rosston and Beaver Fire Departments. The Complex is currently at 85% containment. Numerous OFS overhead, heavy equipment, Type 6 Engines and aircraft are assigned to the complex to assist local fire departments with the control efforts. Other state forestry resources from Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee have arrived and are committed to the firefighting effort. An Incident Command Post is established at the Woodward County Fairgrounds to facilitate briefings, resource assignments and ordering. Fire danger conditions over the fire area are forecast as “Elevated” today and predicted to become “Near Critical” on Sunday. Resources will continue working existing control lines and mopping-up hot spots to strengthen the fires’ perimeter. Utility companies have started to replace power poles and lines damaged by the fire. There were no changes in fire perimeters during the previous burning period.

Starbuck (Beaver and Harper County) – 662,687 acres total (464,308 acres in Kansas and 198,379 acres in Oklahoma). Near the Oklahoma communities of Buffalo, Knowles, Gate, Rosston and Laverne. Numerous residences, secondary structures, livestock and other infrastructure lost. Damage assessments are on-going.

Selman (Harper and Woodward County) – 47,289 acres, located approximately 10 miles north of Woodward. No estimate on residences or secondary structures lost. Damage assessments are on-going.

 283 Fire (Harper County) – 69,395 acres, located near the communities of Rosston, Laverne and May. Damage assessments are on-going.

Beaver Fire (Beaver County) – 2,962 acres, located between Beaver and Elmwood along highway 273. Damage assessments on-going.

Statewide Discussion:

 Panhandle: A dry cold front is expected to push across the Panhandle early today. Anticipate “Elevated” fire weather conditions this afternoon with RH values dropping into the mid-teen’s with north/northwesterly winds behind the front gusting to 25-30 mph. Expect winds to swing back to the south on Saturday and decrease slightly. “Near Critical” fire weather conditions are forecast for Sunday.

 Western/West Central: Elevated” fire weather conditions are forecast for today due to low RH values, high-temperatures and windy conditions. A dry cold front should drop through the area later today. Expect temperatures to be 70-80°F, RH values will drop to around 20% and northerly winds behind the front will gust to 30+ mph. Conditions are forecast to reach “Near Critical” conditions on Sunday.

Central/East Central/Eastern: Fire weather conditions are forecast to be “Elevated” in the western portion of the state. Moisture pushing up from the south will keep RH values elevated over much of the area. Expect temperatures to reach into the upper 80’s with RH values in the 20-60% range. Eastern counties will experience moderated conditions while counties further west will see more critical values. Winds will initially be from the south, but will switch to N/NE at 20-25 mph after frontal system passage later today.

Expect any fire that starts today to burn with moderate to high intensities and rates of spread. Highest spread rates will be experienced where terrain and winds align and where RH values fall below 25%. Firefighters should always be aware of changing weather conditions. Expect good nighttime humidity recoveries.

Standard Firefighting Order #1: Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.

 Resources: To request assistance, call the Resource Hotline (800) 800-2481

  • OFS Engine/Dozer Task Forces on stand-by
  • National Guard Helicopter available, but limited
  • County Wildland Task Force Resources should assess availability for mobilization

Numerous County Burn Bans are in effect.  For the most current information on Burn Bans click on the following link: http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information

                   
      

      

                                                                                                                                                      

      

           
      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: Stephen Creech, Fire Behavior Analyst Detailed to Oklahoma Forestry Services.