350 Complex Fire in Woodward Now Twenty Percent ContainedThu, 07 Apr 2016 18:09:49 CDT
Continuing fire weather conditions have resulted in the growth of the largest wildfire actively burning in the state, as well as the start of multiple new fires.
The 350 Complex in Woodward County which is the largest fire that began this week, has reached approximately 57,440 acres burned and is 20 percent contained, as of Thursday afternoon. The fire was caused by power lines that arced in the high winds to come into contact with trees and grass Tuesday. This fire, which was the result of four separate fires merging together, continues to exhibit extreme fire behavior, flare ups and rapid rates of spread. Approximately 230 personnel are working the fire, with multiple aircraft, including single engine air tankers, very large air tankers and the CL-415 (Super Scoopers), providing aerial suppression.
Due to the complexity of the fire, Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) ordered a Type 2 Incident Management Team from Texas A&M Forest Service to manage the fire in unified command with Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Woodward Fire Department.
Oklahoma Forestry Services has established a statewide area command in Oklahoma City to prioritize the allocation of state and federal resources. State and federal aircraft remain prepositioned across the state to support on-going and emerging incidents. Additional wildland fire suppression resources have been ordered from the Southern Forest Fire Compact to assist with on-going and new initial attack incidents.
Other fires that have occurred this week or are still being fought include:
Meridian Fire (Logan County) - An Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) Task Force and numerous fire departments were committed to this incident yesterday. This fire has burned 500 acres eight miles north of Luther. The reduction in acreage is due to better mapping. The fire is 100% contained and started as a result of discarded charcoal ashes.
Olive Fire (Creek County) – Olive Fire Department, Drumright Fire Department and numerous fire departments were committed to this incident that has burned 400 acres approximately five miles northwest of Bristow. Two Oklahoma Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters equipped with 660-gallon buckets were committed to this incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Alva (Woods County) – An Air Tactical Group Supervisor and three fixed wing air tankers were diverted from the 350 Complex to assist the Alva Fire Department on a wildfire burned into the Alva city limits. No structures were damaged or lost as of a result of this incident that burned 117 acres. A tree limb falling across power lines causing arcing has been listed as the cause of fire.
Potbelly (Caddo County) – An Oklahoma Forestry Services Task Force assisted the Bureau of Indian Affairs with this wildfire that occurred approximately 3-1/2 miles east of Stecker. The fire burned approximately 118 acres in a timbered area. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Footprint (Caddo County) - An Oklahoma Forestry Services Task Force assisted the Bureau of Indian Affairs with this wildfire that occurred approximately two miles south of Ft. Cobb. The fire burned approximately 30 acres and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Sewell Road (Pottawatomie County) – Tecumseh Fire Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and numerous fire departments were committed to this incident that burned 90 acres five miles south of Tecumseh. The cause of the fire has been listed as an escaped debris burn.
Bristow (Creek County) – An Oklahoma Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket assisted the Bristow Fire Department on this wildfire that burned approximately 40 acres four miles northeast of Bristow. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Vo-Tech (Creek County) - An Oklahoma Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket assisted the Drumright Fire Department on this wildfire that threatened Central Vocational Center in the city of Drumright. The fire burned 5 acres and no structures were reported damaged or lost.
“We have brought in additional resources, including personnel, equipment and aircraft, to manage the suppression of the very large wildfire in Woodward and Harper counties,” said George Geissler, Director of Oklahoma Forestry Services. “We are also prepared to respond quickly to existing and new fires that may start in other parts of the state.”
While wind conditions are better today, wildfire danger still persists, with warm temperatures, wind gusts up to 30 mph and low relative humidity. A Red Flag Warning is in effect till 8 p.m. today for parts of northern and central Oklahoma, including Woods, Woodward, Alfalfa, Major, Blaine, Canadian, Kingfisher, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble, Logan, Oklahoma, Lincoln, Payne, Pawnee, Osage, Tulsa, Creek, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties.
The public is urged to continue to be vigilant in their fire prevention efforts, avoiding any activity that can spark a blaze and to report any fire or smoke to their local fire departments. Citizens are also being asked, for their own safety as well as the firefighters, to avoid traveling near any wildfires. It is imperative to keep the roadways clear for firefighters and other emergency responders.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, click here.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News