Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update #2
April 10, 2009 – 10:30 a.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to the severe wildfires across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains at Level Two activation, which involves extended operating hours for key personnel. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas.
A powerful early spring storm system moved into Oklahoma today. This system caused very strong westerly winds to move across much of central and western Oklahoma. These winds brought very dry air with them and when combined with warm afternoon temperatures, provided conditions very favorable for wildfires. The growing season has started in parts of Oklahoma but drought conditions continue in many areas. This made wildfire conditions worse as dry or dormant vegetation allowed for rapid wildfire growth.
The wildfire threat will continue Friday and Saturday. Rainfall is expected across much of the state late Saturday into Sunday, temporarily reducing the wildfire threat.
The Oklahoma Department of Health reports 49 injuries across the state. One severe injury is reported in the Lindsay area, where a motorist lost vehicular control on a smoke-covered road. A Lincoln County firefighter is listed in stable condition at the Integris Baptist Hospital Burn Center, in Oklahoma City. The remaining injuries are all categorized from minor to moderate.
Additionally, 5 injuries, classified as moderate, were transported to Arkansas hospitals as a result of a tornado touchdown in LeFlore County.
Community shelters are currently open in the following locations:
- 1st Baptist Church, Healdton
- Midwest City Community Center, Midwest City
- 1st Methodist Church, Marietta
- Turner School, Love County
- 1st Baptist Church, Nicoma Park
Reports from emergency management organizations throughout the state have identified in excess of 100 homes destroyed. The larger numbers seem to be in south central Oklahoma and eastern Oklahoma County. Additionally, numerous outbuildings have been destroyed. The following are reports received from local jurisdictions.
Stephens County: 13 homes and 3 businesses destroyed
Grady County: 15 homes and 3 businesses destroyed
McClain County: 10-15 homes destroyed
Oklahoma County: 100 structures destroyed
Carter County, Payne County and others: Will report after assessment is complete.
The state has requested a total of five Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and currently has two approved (the McClain County Fire Complex and the Midwest City/Choctaw Fire Complex). We are currently awaiting approval for the Healdton/Carter County Complex, the Velma Complex and the Mulhall/Payne County Complex. These FMAGs will provide recovery assistance to fire departments and other emergency organizations for the expense of resources necessary to respond.
Assistance for individuals who are victims of these fires will be assessed in the days to come. However, it should be noted that federal declarations for individual assistance are based on the amount of “uninsured” loss caused by the disaster.