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Agricultural News

Fire Danger Remains in the Panhandle and Western Oklahoma

Thu, 28 Oct 2021 08:56:04 CDT

Fire Danger Remains in the Panhandle and Western Oklahoma Today: A Wind Advisory is in effect across Oklahoma with gusts topping 40 mph and pushing 50 mph at times which is near the threshold that test powerlines. Relative humidity values will dip below 25% along and west of US Hwy. 81 late in the afternoon coupled with clear skies and very strong winds accelerating drying.

Central and eastern areas of the state are not expected realize enough drying to drive large/significant fire potential reserving the more problematic fire behavior likelihood for the Panhandle, northwest Oklahoma and areas in western Oklahoma. In western Oklahoma fire behavior will be conditional on fire location relative to recent wetting rains. There remain numerous barriers to fire spread in place, especially within areas of wheat production.

Oklahoma Panhandle/Harper County - A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 10:00 AM through 7:00 PM in Cimarron and Texas Counties. Much cooler temperatures 60?-64? although late afternoon relative humidity values 16-20% under clear skies supported with stout winds will result in rapid drying of fuels following marginal overnight moisture recovery. Find-dead fuel moisture values at 4-5% should be expected. North winds sustained 20-33 mph with gusts approaching 50 mph at times will drive potential for very rapid rates of fire spread on established fire coupled with problematic fire behavior. Rangeland fuels will support head fire rates of fire spread 254-308 ft./min. (+/- 3.0 mph) with flame lengths around 16 ft. ROS nearer 350 ft./min. may be observed briefly on some established fires.

Western Oklahoma - Large pockets of increased fire danger are expected with fire behavior conditional on location relevant to wetting rains. In general, initial attack activity is expected to be challenging but successful. Large fire occurrence will generally be associated to fires where access limitations and heavier fuel loadings reside. Temperature 61?-70? and relative humidity values 22-30% under clear skies will yield afternoon fine-dead fuel moisture values at 5-6%. Northerly winds sustained 20-35 mph with some gusts exceeding 50 mph will drive potential for rapid rates of fire spread in rangeland fuels at 191-274 ft./min. (+/- 2.5 mph) with flame lengths around 14 ft. Firefighters should expect erratic fire behavior given.

Friday/Weekend: Fire danger concern will ratchet down a few notches Friday and through the weekend with cooler temperatures and relaxing winds although dry conditions continue. New wildfires are not expected to exhibit undue resistance to control offering respectable probability if successful initial attack. Temperatures are expected to remain below normal into next week with another opportunity for freezing conditions in the Oklahoma Panhandle driving fuels into dormancy. Some rain chances are in the current forecast following the weekend. Unless significant activity occurs or conditions change, the next issuance of the Oklahoma Wildfire Situation Report will be issued Monday, Nov. 1.

As of Thursday, Oct. 28, there are no burn bans.

Keep up on the latest OK Fire Situation by clicking or tapping here. Check out this story from OSU on how to take a proactive approach to wildfire season in Oklahoma.



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