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Oklahoma Forestry Services Releases Latest Status Update on the NW Oklahoma Fire Situation

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:49:53 CDT

Oklahoma Forestry Services Releases Latest Status Update on the NW Oklahoma Fire Situation The latest report on the ongoing firefighting efforts of the Oklahoma Forestry Service indicates an increase in the containment of the Rhea Fire Complex, now at 15 percent contained, up from three percent. The 34 Fire Complex remains at 45 percent contained. See a summary report below on the current status of the Northwest Oklahoma Fire Situation.

Statewide Discussion:

Initial attack on new starts remained at a steady pace yesterday. Fire weather conditions allowed for rapid control on new wildfires and allowed increased containment percentages on the on-going large fires in western Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Forestry Services has assigned two Incident Management Teams to the largest fires in western Oklahoma. The Southern Region Gold Team (Type 2 IMT) has been assigned to the 34 Complex. The Florida Forest Service Red
Team (Type 1 IMT) is managing the Rhea Fire. These Teams are working under the authority of Oklahoma Forestry Services and are in unified command with the local fire departments affected by these incidents. Fire Danger will remain high to very high across a large portion of Oklahoma today, with the most significant fire danger in the far western portion of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Relative humidity today will range from the low teens in Panhandle to less than 25% near the I-35 corridor. Winds between I-35 and the Panhandle are forecast to be generally light from south-southwest at 5-10 mph. In the Panhandle, winds are forecast from the south-southwest at 15-25 mph with gusts from 25-40 mph. Temperatures are forecast to range from the upper-60s to low-70s.

Wildland fuels across western Oklahoma remain critically dry. Any new wildfire starting today has the potential to burn with rapid rates of spread and be resistant to control. Fire behavior today in the main body of Oklahoma will be
primarily terrain-driven, but the highest rates of spread will be where terrain and winds align. In the Oklahoma Panhandle, any fire that starts will be wind-driven, with highest spread rates in Cimarron County.

Today’s fire danger should allow for the opportunity to repair fire suppression equipment. If your department has been involved with some of the large fires from the past week take the time to conduct an After Action Review to discuss the mobilization and learn from the experience.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE PUBLIC – While the promise of rainfall remains in the forecast, do not let your guard down in regards to the potential for wildfires. Take the time to assess your property’s vulnerability to an approaching wildfire by
visiting www.firewiseusa.org This site offers practical tips for things that you can do to increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfires.

PLEASE NOTE: A Governor’s Burn Ban exists in a large portion of Oklahoma. (click or tap the link below to view)

For the full Fire Situation report for April 19, 2018, click here.

Source - Oklahoma Forestry Services



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