Fire Situation Report – March 18, 2017

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 03/17/17 thru 03/18/17 

NE Area – 0 fires reported

EC Area – 0 fires reported

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 87% 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 are committed to the firefighting effort. An Incident Command Post is established at the Woodward County Fairgrounds to facilitate briefings, resource assignments and ordering. A Fire Weather Watch in effect for the fire area through Sunday evening for very strong winds, very warm temperatures and low relative humidity. Any new starts may quickly exceed initial attack capabilities. It is highly likely that a Red Flag Warning will be issued later today for 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: Conditions today have moderated somewhat as relative humidity values are not expected to reach “Elevated” or “Near Critical” levels. Sunday will see a return to “Elevated” or “Near Critical” fire weather conditions with winds gusting to 25 – 30 mph from the SW, relative humidity values to be in the single-digit to mid-teen range and temperatures near 90°F. Rapid initial attack will be important in keeping fires small. Sunday, all new starts have the potential to exceed initial attack on any new start that grow to 10+ acres.

Western/West Central: Lighter winds today coupled with moderated relative humidity values should keep fire weather conditions below the “Elevated” or “Near Critical” thresholds. There is a Fire Weather Watch in effect west of a line from Woods County to Jackson County through Sunday evening for very strong winds, very warm temperatures and low relative humidity. Any new starts will quickly exceed initial attack capabilities. It is highly likely that a Red Flag Warning may be issued later today.

Central/East Central/

Eastern: Much lighter winds coupled with higher relative humidity values should moderate fire conditions today, but remember that fuels are extremely dry resulting in complete combustion. A stalled cold front will lift back north overnight. This will usher in unseasonably warm temperatures with the threat of gusty south winds. This could lead to “Elevated” fire danger conditions for Sunday. Increasing low-level moisture will help mitigate fire conditions somewhat.

Don’t be lulled into complacency on Saturday. Sunday will require all firefighters to maintain “Situational Awareness” (SA) for both firefighter and public safety. Always size-up fires; establish a safe anchor point; never attempt a frontal assault on a fast-moving head fire; and, establish and maintain good communication with all resources. Expect any fire that starts today to burn with moderate 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 #8: Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood.

 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