High Fire Danger Across Oklahoma

Outdoor burning is not advised today or tomorrow due to the dry, windy conditions that will be present over most of the state. Officials from Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry report that there were several wildfires across the state yesterday and weather conditions today will be similar.

OFS received notice of the first burn ban for 2014 from county commissioners in Stephens County. The ban will remain in place for a 30-day period.

“Any fire that starts will spread rapidly so we are urging everyone to delay any outdoor activity that might spark a blaze,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. “Though the highest danger today will be seen near and west of a line from Alfalfa County to Cotton County the entire state will experience high fire danger.”

Low relative humidity, combined with higher temperatures and sustained winds at 10-20 mph with some gusts possible near 30 mph are creating the dangerous conditions. This pattern is expected to repeat tomorrow as well.

Caution should be exercised with outdoor grilling, welding, and many roadside fires are started due to vehicles dragging chains or continuing to drive on a rim after experiencing a flat tire. “We are just asking Oklahomans to remain vigilant as we enter our winter fire season,” said Geissler.

Outdoor burning is discouraged and citizens are asked to report any new fires or suspicious smoke to the closest fire department. Safety of the firefighters and public is of the utmost concern and with this weather forecast one of the main threats for firefighters will be rapid spread of any fire start.