Oklahoma: Historic Wildfire Conditions Expected

Oklahomans are being warned to expect extreme wildfire danger in the western part of the state on Tuesday.  Officials with the Oklahoma Forestry Services anticipate conditions that supersede those experienced last week, which produced multiple wildfires causing fatalities and widespread damage across western Oklahoma.

Because of ongoing extreme fire conditions, Oklahoma Forestry Services requested additional resources, including firefighters, equipment, engines, dozers and aircraft over the past couple of weeks.  Additionally, Oklahoma Forestry Services ordered two Incident Management Teams and have been assigned to 34 Complex Fire in Woodward County and Rhea Fire in Dewey County to assist in management all aspects of the incidents.

“Fire weather is predicted to be historic tomorrow. Meaning we haven’t seen conditions this extreme in over 10 years,” said Mark Goeller, Fire Management Chief of OFS. “These conditions have the potential to produce very large devastating fires. Oklahoman’s needs to be extremely careful while doing anything outdoors tomorrow.”

Oklahomans 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.

“The Governor has expanded the burn ban in anticipation of the threatening fire weather, one spark could rapidly become a large wildfire.” said State Forester George Geissler.

Several counties remain under a Governor’s Burn Ban and County Commissioner Burn Bans. Visit here for the latest fire information and county burn ban resolutions.

Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, visit here.

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