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Caution Urged with High Fire Danger
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma Forestry Services is urging Oklahomans to use extreme caution in the face of high and increasing fire danger. A warming trend predicted into the weekend coupled with increasing winds and continued dryness will elevate fire danger across the entire state of Oklahoma. OFS is asking everyone to delay outdoor burning. Further, any outdoor burning activity conducted in previous days should be checked to ensure that the fire is fully extinguished.
Long-range prediction of wildfire occurrence is fraught with challenges. Variables that combine to complicate the process include weather, location, and wildland fuel conditions.
“Above normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall in Oklahoma has exacerbated drought conditions resulting in exceptional wildland fuel dryness,” said State Forester Mark Goeller. “Oklahoma Forestry Services is closely monitoring current and expected weather forecasts in order to ensure our preparedness and response actions are at the highest level possible.”
All of Oklahoma is experiencing drought with sizeable areas registering the most acute “exceptional” classification. Drought conditions are expected to persist into fall and into winter. Seasonal dormancy will drive increase wildland fuels availability.
We could see some improvement in fire danger indices in late fall, but current indications are that above normal fire occurrence and severity will persist through the dormant season. The bottom line is that the Oklahoma landscape is primed for wildfire activity.
County Burn Bans are in effect for 45 counties stretching from McCurtain County in far southeastern Oklahoma to Harper County in the northwest part of the state.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead wildland firefighting agency. Visit forestry.ok.gov for the latest fire information and county burn ban resolutions.
Note to news media: For the latest Oklahoma “Wildfire Situation Report” visit forestry.ok.gov. The report contains information about recent fire activity, predicted fire weather and a link for current burn bans.