Oklahoma City – Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) has released its Calendar Year 2018 wildfire statistics as it prepares for the dry, windy weather so common now through spring green-up. It reports that 2018 was another busy year for wildfire suppression, responding to and assisting on a total of 1,086 fires that burned approximately 466,864 acres. While it is the state’s lead wildland firefighting agency, Oklahoma Forestry Services works alongside local fire departments and interagency partners to achieve efficient and effective wildfire suppression. Wildfires can occur during any month of the year in Oklahoma. However, fire activity is typically the heaviest during the months of January through April when live wildland fuels across the state are dormant.
March experienced 436 wildfires, the highest number in a single month in 2018. April saw the most acres burned (367,458) during the year. April also hosted the most challenging single day, April 12th, with numerous large and devastating fires occurring. Some of the exceptional fires include the Rhea Fire in Dewey County, the 34 Complex Fire in Woodward County and the Shaw Fire in Roger Mills County. See Oklahoma wildfire monthly details below:
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“As we prepare our firefighting resources for response in 2019, we encourage homeowners to prepare and protect their homes for possible wildfires,” said State Forester and Director of Oklahoma Forestry Services Mark Goeller. “Everyone can take proactive steps to protect their property by simply removing excessive vegetation and other flammable materials from around their home.”
Homeowners are also encouraged to assess their property by looking at construction materials, landscaping, access for emergency personnel to property and maintenance of a defensible space around their home. Those living in or near heavily vegetated areas are especially encouraged to take precautions for wildfires. For more information visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov/firewise-for-you.