Oklahoma Forestry Services is urging Oklahomans to continue using extreme caution in the face of the strongest fire weather so far in 2023. Very high to extreme fire danger indices will develop on Friday. Wildfire concerns are expected to remain in place for the next seven days.
OFS is deploying firefighting resources, including engines, dozers and personnel, to both Woodward and Guthrie.
“For at least the next week, OFS is encouraging Oklahomans to avoid activities that may spark a wildfire,” said State Forester Mark Goeller. “We have been fortunate so far this year in avoiding the number of fires seen in recent years and we hope this continues.”
The duration of Oklahoma’s current drought has limited the amount of fuel (i.e., grass and timber litter) although when coupled with the intensity of the forecasted fire weather, sufficient fuel is in place to worsen any fires that are sparked.
Landowners that have been conducting beneficial prescribed fires in recent days are asked to ensure that these fires are thoroughly mopped up and patrolled to limit escape potential as the weather becomes warm, dry, and windy. Oklahoma Forestry Services has a close working relationship with our partners at National Weather Service offices covering Oklahoma as well as our neighboring states to provide accurate and timely predictive services.
The main area of concern on Friday has been identified and highlighted on the attached map.
New wildfire occurrence is expected to increase and large fires greater than 300 acres are likely within the identified area. Significant fires (greater than 5,000 acres) are low-to-moderate risk.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead wildland firefighting agency. For wildfire information, county burn ban resolutions, and the Oklahoma “Wildfire Situation Report” visit forestry.ok.gov.