Slow Moving Cool Front, and Rain Chances Help with Fire Danger

Statewide Discussion: The slow-moving cold front will stall in southeastern Oklahoma holding some rain chances in place in the southeastern and east-central counties. Dry conditions are expected elsewhere across the state. OFS firefighters continue to work alongside fire departments patrolling for hotspots and increasing containment on recent significant fires with moderated fire danger over the next few days. Rain chances build in later this week with best opportunity for wetting rains along and east of I35.

Today: Cooler temperatures across most of Oklahoma combined with improved relative humidity values will hold fine-dead fuel moisture values above critical threshold stalling the rates of new fire occurrence. The northwestern and Panhandle counties remain 31-80 days separated from wetting rains holding receptive fuels in place resulting in continued focus on fire response in the area where fuel loading is above-normal and has proven to support notable suppression difficulty.

• Oklahoma Panhandle / Northwest Oklahoma – The cold front that slowly migrated through the area yesterday has left
cooler temperatures and calmer winds in its place providing reduced fire danger today. In general, probability of successful initial attack efforts is very high although potential for large fire occurrence should not be discounted given the fuel loading
and worrisome composite fuel moisture. Temperature will register 57°-63° this afternoon under mostly-clear skies with
relative humidity values 25-32% yielding fine-dead fuel moisture at 5% across most of the area. Northeast winds sustained 7-14 mph with some higher gusts will support moderate rates of spread providing good opportunity for initial attack success. On established wildfires in rangeland fuels, head fire rates of spread 84-130 ft/min with flame lengths 9-12 ft. should be expected. The burning period will quickly relax with after sunset anticipating very good overnight moisture recovery.

• Along & West of I-44 – Afternoon relative humidity values holding in the 30-40% range will limit fine-dead fuel moisture from reaching the concerning ranges of recent days. Given afternoon temperatures 62°-72° under mostly-clear skies, FDFM will stall around 6% in the area with 7% observations more likely along the I-44 corridor. North-northeast winds sustained around 12 mph, and some higher gusts, will present manageable rates of spread in the dormant grass fuels +/- 90 ft/min. Initial attack efforts are expected to be successful also noting that wheat fields and cool season pastures are serving as barrier to fire spread.

• East of I-44 – Following very good overnight moisture recovery, afternoon relative humidity values sill struggle to fall below 40% as temperatures register mid-60°’s to mid-70°’s holding fine-dead fuel moisture in the 7-8% range. Continued rain chances through the day in east-central and southeastern Oklahoma will increase into the evening focused on the
southeastern counties. Northerly winds sustained 7-12 mph and limited gusts will present much less challenging fire
behavior than in previous days. Rank grass fuels will exhibit head fire rates of spread generally less than 100 ft/min
offering very good probability of successful initial attack. Timber fuels, where recent fire behavior has been stubborn will
exhibit low spread potential, although mop-up efforts will require time and resources.

Near-Term: The near-term forecast is a bit tricky – rain chances, dryline intrusion, cold fronts, etc. Rain chances do appear to be more widespread in the Wednesday-Friday period although a dryline will attempt to move east Thursday with some potential to move fire weather into southwestern and far-western Oklahoma. Nonetheless, a wetter period is expected mid-week with, again, the best opportunity for wetting rains along and east of I-35.
OFS Resources Mobilized: Resource Hotline (800) 800-2481
• Woodward County- Suppression Group (TFLD/Engines/Dozers) Available for Dispatch
• Catesby Fire (Ellis County) – 2 Suppression Groups (DIVS/Engines/Dozers) Available for Dispatch
• 2 CL415’s – Burns Flat
• Interagency aviation resources including Air-Attack/SEAT’s/LAT’s in eastern Oklahoma and Texas.

Burn Bans: (None currently in effect) Refer to: for the most current burn ban information and links to specific burn ban proclamations.

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