High Winds and Increased Fire Danger Predicted

Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is cautioning the public that high fire danger exists this weekend and next week as a low front pushes into the state.

After a week of dry, sunny weather coupled with predicted strong, gusty winds any fire will burn intensely and could spread rapidly. Weather forecasts call for low relative humidity, winds gusting over 40 mph and continued drying conditions.

“As we recall the recent fires with numerous structures lost, I hope homeowners will take this advance warning to improve their home’s defensible space,” said George Geissler, State Forester. “Utilizing Firewise measures will give your home a better chance of surviving if a wildfire burns through your property.”

Defensible space is a buffer between a home and surrounding areas of dense grass and tree growth. A few simple things like keeping lawns mowed short, removing leaves and other flammables from beneath porches, out of gutters and off roofs. By removing anything flammable that touches or almost touches homes rob wildfires of “ladder fuels” that have the potential of burning right up to homes.

Piles of firewood and portable propane tanks should be moved as far away homes as possible, as well as leaves and other dead limbs that have accumulated under porches. For more information on making homes Firewise visit www.forestry.ok.gov/defensible-space.

A Governor Burn Ban and multiple county burn bans are in place across the state. For a complete list, as well as guidelines visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call 580-236-1021.