Officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services are preparing for predicted high fire danger in western Oklahoma Monday. The primary area of concern is the Oklahoma panhandle, as well as counties bordering the Texas panhandle. Areas to the east of this could be affected if the forecasted dry air shifts farther east than predicted.
Firefighting resources are being prepositioned in Guymon and Weatherford in advance of the predicted fire weather. This includes two OFS wildland task forces and an Oklahoma National Guard helicopter on standby for deployment. These resources will be poised to respond to any new fires and available to assist local resources with extended attack as well.
“Recently, numerous fires have been sparked in Western Oklahoma by vehicles dragging chains or driving on a tire rim after a flat,” said State Forester Mark Goeller. “This area is very dry with no significant rainfall in the last 30 days.”
Monday’s forecast calls for relative humidity in the low teens to 20% range, winds gusting over 30 mph and temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s.
Citizens are urged to be cautious not to spark a wildfire and to report any suspicious smoke or fire to their closest fire department or by calling 911. Homeowners can also make their home more defensible by moving trash, debris and other flammable items like firewood piles or portable propane tanks a safe distance away from their home.
“Under these conditions we are strongly discouraging any outdoor burning in the affected area on Monday,” said Goeller. “This is a short duration event, with conditions improving by after nightfall.”
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information .
Note to Media: For the latest Oklahoma “Daily Wildfire Situation Report” visit www.forestry.ok.gov and click the link on the homepage (green box on right hand side.) The report contains information about recent fire activity, predicted fire weather and a link for current burn bans. Warning!! – If you are going to fly, please contact OFS Air Operations at 405-373-6082 to obtain fire air traffic information and VHF AM frequencies.
About Oklahoma Forestry Services
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma’s 12.5 million acres of forests and woodlands. Since 1925, Oklahoma Forestry Services has worked with individuals and communities throughout the state to create resilient landscapes, fire-adaptive communities and provide wildfire response. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the division also has regional offices in Goldsby, Broken Bow, Wilburton and Tahlequah. For more information, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov.