Dewey County Fire Spreads Another 5,000 Acres Totalling 253,663 Acres Burned in Latest UpdateWed, 18 Apr 2018 09:42:09 CDT
The following report is the latest update from the ongoing fire situation in northwest Oklahoma issued at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, April 18, 2018.
Containment efforts are ongoing currently at four active fires. The Rhea Fire (Dewey County) has spread since the last report, growing in coverage by nearly 5,000 acres totalling 253,663 acres overall in area burned and remains at only 3% contained. No change in status has been reported on the 34 Complex Fire (Woodward County) which has consumed thus far a total 67,776 Acres (Est), and is 45% contained. The latest report lists a Laverne Fire (Beaver/Harper County) covering 100 acres. No containment has yet been reported. Also on this report is the Hooker Fire (Texas County) covering a total 179 acres at 90% containment.
Extreme fire behavior was experienced yesterday on the Rhea Fire with corresponding growth. Numerous evacuations occurred in the area to the north and east of the Rhea Fire. New fire starts were minimal yesterday despite the historic
fire weather conditions.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for today, April 18th, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a large portion of western Oklahoma. Extreme fire weather conditions will exist near and west of a line from Alfalfa County to Tillman County. New
fires will likely exhibit rapid rates of spread and be resistant to control. On-going wildfires, such as the Rhea and 34 Complex, will likely experience additional growth today. A Fire Weather Watch is also in effect for
portions of northern and northeast Oklahoma from Noon to 8 pm. For more info about the Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch from the National Weather Service, click here.
In and near the Warned Area, afternoon relative humidity today is expected to range from the upper single digits to mid-teens. North to northwest winds are forecast to be sustained at 15-25 mph with 30+ mph gusts. The highest winds are
forecast to occur generally north of US 412. Temperatures will be cooler today, forecast to range from the mid-60s to mid-70s.
“Normal” tactics aren’t working to deal with the abnormally extreme conditions that currently exist. At least one Type 6 Engine was burned over and destroyed yesterday. While there hasn’t been any loss of life reported, the potential was very high yesterday. A high threat to the lives of firefighters and the public will continue in western Oklahoma until substantial rainfall is received and Spring green up occurs. Don’t engage in wildland firefighting without full PPE, a strong anchor point, a strategic and tactical plan, and knowing your escape routes and safety zones.
SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC - A Governor’s Burn Ban exists in a large portion of Oklahoma. At least one wildfire was started yesterday due to careless actions which violated restrictions set forth in the Ban. Firefighter
and Public Safety was jeopardized due to the resulting wildfire. PLEASE ABIDE BY THE BAN IN ORDER TO REDUCE YOUR LIABILITY AND PREVENT YOUR ACTIONS FROM POSSIBLY CAUSING THE LOSS OF LIFE AND PROPERTY.
For the full Fire Situation report for April 18, 2018, click here.
Source - Oklahoma Forestry Services
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