Fire Situation Report – February 22, 2017


Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services

PROTECTION AREA STATISTICS* for Reporting Period 0800 thru 0800, 02/21/17 thru 02/22/17 

NE Area – No New Activity

EC Area – No New Activity

SE Area – No New Activity

Large Fire Activity within the Protection Area: No New Activity

 Fire Activity with OFS Response outside the Protection Area: No New Activity

OFS Prescribed Fire Activity: No New 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 www.firereporting.ok.gov recorded on 02/21/17 thru 02/22/17

3 Fires burned 34 Acres (Cause: 2-Escaped Debris, 1-Incendiary) Guymon and Willow FD’s Reporting

Statewide Discussion:  The warming and drying trend will continue today with well above normal temperature in place. Critical fire weather indices are expected tomorrow in western and Panhandle counties. A Red Flag Warning is in place for Thursday from 10:00 AM through 9:00 PM for Cimarron, Texas and Beaver Counties. And, a fire weather watch is in effect anticipating critical fire weather on Thursday west of a line from Woods County to Tillman County. An upgrade to Red Flag Warning is expected.

Today, drier conditions than observed yesterday are expected across the state with much warmer than normal temperatures. Winds are not expected to be too troublesome with some variability in the morning then west to southwest in the Panhandle and western Oklahoma while the remainder of the state will realize light south to southwest winds.

Far Western Oklahoma / Panhandle – Temperature readings this afternoon in the upper-70°’s to near 80° with relative humidity values 13-21% will intensify drying of fuels. Winds will be somewhat variable this morning with afternoon winds southwest around 10 mph and some gusts around 15 mph – daytime heating may prompt higher windspeeds in some areas. Elevated fire weather will be in place with windspeeds preventing issuance of a warning today. This area has not received either the amount or duration of precipitation that many other areas have recently benefitted from, and an abundance of fine-dead fuel is present. Expect fire behavior to exceed normal measures of performance with elevated fireline intensity.

Near Western / Central Oklahoma – Southerly winds 5-10 mph are expected today, and the recent boost in fuel moisture will limit rate of fire spread to some extent. Improved soil moisture and above normal temperatures has prompted some early green-up in winter grasses and ag-fields which will slightly retard fire behavior in some areas. Temperatures today in the 75°-80° range and relative humidity values falling just below 30% will continue to promote drying of fuels and increasing fuel availability.

Eastern Oklahoma – Much of the area has realized a boost in composite fuel moisture. However, large diameter fuels remain very dry and the abundance of dormant fuel will become increasingly available with temperature this afternoon hovering around 80° and relative humidity values generally 28-39%. Initial attack frequency will likely increase in the days ahead, but controlling fires during initial attack should largely be successful.

Thursday will present the most significant fire weather of the season thus far in western Oklahoma with the greatest threat in northwest Oklahoma and eastern Panhandle. Critical fire weather indices including temperatures near 70° to 85°, relative humidity values 8-20% and winds southwest to west sustained 20-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph in the Watch/Warning area will promote aggressive fire behavior. Much of this area has not realized the benefit of the wetting rains from the past two systems with areas of the Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma 30-36 days separated from wetting rains. Fine fuel moisture will fall into the 3-4% range with probability of ignition 80%. Fire behavior should be expected to be problematic to extreme given the weather, fuel moisture and fuel loading. Expect the potential for extreme rates of fire spread, elevated fireline intensity and medium range spotting. A dryline will drive fire weather into critical measure and passage of a cold front in the evening should be noted as the associated shift in wind direction will complicate fire suppression tactics of any going fire.

To request assistance, contact the Resource Hotline at (800) 800-2481

Oklahoma Forestry Services will have Task Force resources prepositioned in northwest Oklahoma.

National Guard will have helicopters available.

Incident personnel are encouraged to review ordering and operational procedures in the Aviation issue of the Oklahoma Wildland Tailgate Series at: https://forestry.publishpath.com/Websites/forestry/images/Tailgate_Oct_2015_FAST_version.pdf

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