OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
FOOD, AND FORESTRY
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2018
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Firefighting Resources Reduced As Fire Danger Improves
The combination of extremely dry fuels and anticipated weather conditions prompted the need for additional resources to assist Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) and firefighters across the state with wildland fire response. For three weeks, that additional assistance has been provided by fire crews from multiple southeastern states. Personnel, engines, and dozers came to assist from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Fire danger conditions have changed with a recent cold front that brought small amounts of moisture and higher relative humidity to critically dry western Oklahoma. This higher moisture level, along with low winds, has decreased fire danger for the state. As the amount of wildfires has decreased, so has the need for Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) to assist local fire departments with firefighting efforts.
“The support from these state forestry agencies allowed us to sustain an appropriate resource level for fire response in support of local fire departments and incident responders,” said Mark Goeller, Fire Management Chief for OFS. “Looking ahead to the fire danger forecast, we feel that we are back to a point where we can handle the need with our own state resources.”
These Southeastern state forestry agency personnel and equipment will begin their travel from Oklahoma today. Most will take two days to drive to their home units, depending on the distance and type of equipment they are driving. The number of aircraft resources has also been reduced in recent days.
It is important to note that fuels in western Oklahoma remain critically dry, and the threat of wildland fire has not been eliminated. OFS will continue to monitor weather conditions and continue to staff appropriately. For additional information about wildfires and the most up to date list of any counties involved in a burn ban, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov.
Note to Media:
For the latest Oklahoma “Daily Wildfire Situation Report” visit http://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.