Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
April 3, 2011 4:30 p.m.
CONTACT: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
STATE EOC ACTIVATED DUE TO WILDFIRE CONDITIONS
Due to the severe fire conditions across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center is at Level Three 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. Additionally, OEM is working with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Division, National Weather Service and Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared by Gov. Mary Fallin for wildfires on March 11. Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
Hot temperatures today combined with dry air and gusty winds to create the potential for rapid fire growth. Winds are 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. A cold front will move into northwest Oklahoma later this evening and progress across the state through Monday morning. Initial relief from the front will be offset by strong gusty winds behind the front, which may cause additional problems for firefighters as fires shift to the southeast. Fire weather concerns remain much of the week as dormant vegetation combined with low relative humidities and dry air is expected to create favorable wildfire conditions.
- Washington County Emergency Management reports multiple wildfires across the county continue burning from Saturday. However, all are in heavily wooded areas or have limited access. No structures threatened at this time.
- Tulsa Fire Department reports a fire seven miles west of Sand Springs near Lake Keystone. Several homes are threatened.
The State EOC is working with the Oklahoma National Guard to provide aerial fire suppression via Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters equipped with buckets and with Oklahoma Forestry to provide ground firefighting equipment. This afternoon, water drops were provided on the fire near Lake Keystone.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute remains in effect in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
Fire danger is high to very high across the state and numerous burn bans remain in effect, Oklahoma Forestry Services reports. Oklahomans are reminded to obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is a major cause of wildfires in Oklahoma and under these conditions any fire can threaten homes and communities.
For more information on how you can prepare for wildfires, go to the Oklahoma Forestry Services’ website forestry.ok.gov.
Oklahomans are reminded to report any suspicious wild land fire activity to the Arson Tip Line 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO-ARSON).
Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant