Oklahoma Forestry Services is responsible for the conservation, management, and protection of our valuable forest resources. Our foresters provide technical assistance to individuals and communities throughout the state. We work together to conserve our present forests, increase their productivity, and ensure for their long term health so that all Oklahomans continue to enjoy these benefits. OFS is also the primary agency responsible for the suppression of wildland fire in all 77 counties. Our personnel provide initial attack on 6.4 million acres of timberland in the eastern counties and suppression assistance to fire departments across the remainder of the state in the form of wildland fire crews, aircraft, and tactical support when needed for wildfires.
The Role of Fires in Oklahoma Landscapes
Many of Oklahoma’s landscapes have evolved with fire as a natural and necessary contributor to their overall health and renewal. Many plant species require fire to germinate, to establish, or to reproduce, or all three. Native Americans used fire across Oklahoma to provide better access, improve hunting, and ridding the land of undesirable species so they could farm. Early European settlers to our state observed this and continued the practice of using fire as a beneficial agent.
But as more settlers arrived, an encroaching urban interface and losses to timber, farm and range land called attention a growing wildfire problem and led to fire being labeled as destructive. Since that time great effort has been made to exclude fire from the landscape. But removing fire from the landscape has had consequences. Many of our lands are no longer healthy and the growth which has continued in the absence of fire resulted in an accumulation of fuels increasing the overall risk of wildfires.
As knowledge accumulated, the use of “prescribed” fire grew and natural resource professionals now include fire as an appropriate tool to manage forests, woodlands and range. Properly used, fire remains an excellent tool for restoring and managing many Oklahoma landscapes.
Wildland fires are a force of nature that can be nearly as impossible to prevent, and as difficult to control, as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Wildfire can be a friend and a foe. In the right place at the right time, wildland fire can create many environmental benefits, such as reducing grass, brush, and trees that can fuel large and severe wildfires and improving wildlife habitat. In the wrong place at the wrong time, wildfires can wreak havoc, threatening lives, homes, communities, and natural and cultural resources.
Report a Wildfire
In the OFS designated initial attack area (see map) call:
- Northeastern Oklahoma: 1-800-299-FIRE
- East Central Oklahoma: 1-800-375-2056
- Southeastern Oklahoma: 1-800-299-2468
All other areas report fires to the local fire department or call 911.
Report Timber Theft and Arson
1-866-NO ARSON (866-662-7766) or to your nearest OFS forester.
Fire Department Assistance
Oklahoma Forestry Services is both honored and pleased to serve alongside of and assist the many fire departments in our state. In addition to providing direct assistance during ongoing incidents we work to improve fire department capacity through our Community Fire Assistance Program by providing funding opportunities, equipment and training in addition.
Forest and Woodland Management
From the pine forests of the east, to the unique Cross Timbers forest of central Oklahoma and the riparian areas of the Great Plains, OFS Foresters work with landowners who want to actively manage and care for their trees and property. No matter what your goals might be, your OFS Forester is there to provide you the best management keys to success.
Oklahoma Sawmill Locations
State Nursery and Tree Improvement Center
Oklahoma Forestry Services has a long history of forest tree improvement and seedling production. This commitment continues today as we strive to provide the highest quality seedlings available anywhere.
OFS operates two facilities which specialize in forest regeneration: the Forest Tree Improvement Center (FTIC), located in Idabel, and the Albert Engstrom Forest Regeneration Center (State Nursery), located in Goldsby. The goals of Oklahoma’s Forest Regeneration Program are to keep forestlands in forest, and to offer tree planting as a viable solution to some of Oklahoma’s most pressing environmental issues.
OFS sells over 30 varieties of trees and shrubs, chosen for their ability to meet the challenges of Oklahoma’s tough climate. Years of selecting from the best seed sources available for each species and careful growing practices in our nursery have resulted in seedlings adaptable to a wide range of planting conditions. Talk to our Regeneration Staff or your local Service Forester for recommendations for your particular site and how to properly plant seedlings.
Seedlings are distributed as bare-root and containerized and can be planted for a number of different purposes including timber production, wildlife habitat improvement, erosion control and windbreaks. The State Nursery also has special options available including Genetically Improved Southern Pines and Conservation Planting Packets.
Place an order for seedlings starting in October and they are shipped in January through March of each year. If you have questions regarding seedling orders or policies, please contact the State Nursery at 405-288-2385 or 800-517-3673. Or send us an email.
Order seedlings here. (2023 sale begins October 3)
How to plant seedlings
OFS foresters are available at no cost to help assist you with any tree planting questions. We also offer a brochure on how to plant a seedling by hand. This video also has helpful information on how to plant your seedlings.
Work at the Nursery
OFS needs Nursery Technicians in Goldsby. For details click here.
Outreach and Education
Oklahoma Forestry Services offers Forestry Education programs and events educators around the state.
Oklahoma State Forester/Oklahoma Forestry Services Director’s Office
The Director of Forestry Services is the State Forester for Oklahoma. The State Forester is required by state statute to be a professional forester and qualified by the State Board of Agriculture. Learn more here.
OFS frequently has openings for qualified applicants. See the latest openings here.
Learn about Oklahoma Forestry Services history here.
public information and communications
For media contacts click here.
See the OFS Staff Directory here.