Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 2
May 5, 2014 - 6:10 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to work with our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division to assist local firefighters with this wildfire outbreak. Other State partners involved include the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief.
STATE OF EMERGENCY AND BURN BAN ISSUED
Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties because of wildfires that began Sunday, May 4. The governor also issued an executive proclamation that declares a Burn Ban for 36 counties as drought conditions continue to worsen across Oklahoma.
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.
The Governor’s Burn Ban makes it unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; to build a bonfire or fire; to burn or ignite fireworks; or to burn trash or other materials outdoors in any of the listed counties.
Counties under the burn ban are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for all of central and western Oklahoma effective from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Strong southerly winds of 25-30 mph, gusting to 45 mph will combine with ongoing drought conditions to create favorable wildfire spread conditions. Temperatures will warm into the mid 90s and potentially above 100 degrees Tuesday afternoon. The relative humidity values will be below 10% much of the day. The area will experience little recovery Tuesday night with fire weather redeveloping Wednesday. Fire weather conditions are again expected on Thursday, west of Highway 81. Severe thunderstorms are possible east of Highway 81.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Guthrie Fire Department reports a 56-year-old man died when the fire overtook his home Sunday night.
Oklahoma State Department of Health reports two people were transported to local hospitals for injuries related to the fires.
Dewey County Emergency Management reports a fire near Seiling has rekindled today.
Logan County Emergency Management and Guthrie Fire Department report a large wildfire continues to burn. Nearly 3,000 acres have burned and 30 structures have been destroyed, according to Guthrie Fire Department. Firefighters from more than 40 fire departments have assisted since Sunday evening. Oklahoma Forestry Services is responding today equipment and personnel. Three National Guard helicopters are providing water drops on the affected areas.
Pawnee County Emergency Management reports a wildfire that began yesterday has jumped the north fire line and has burned about 1,500 acres. Approximately 25 homes are being evacuated near Jennings. There are currently 20 fire departments on scene along with two bulldozers.
Woodward County Emergency Management and Woodward Fire Department report a fire more than 2 miles wide and 8 miles long continues to burn east of Woodward near Highway 412. Woods and Alfalfa County task forces responded yesterday. Beaver County task force is supporting the fire operations today.
In wildfire emergencies state law identifies the Oklahoma Division of Forestry under the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as operational lead for the State of Oklahoma. OEM continues to provide any requested resources as determined by Forestry in coordination with local incident command.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports that two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and one Tanker 415 will be in Logan County this evening to assist with firefighting.
The Oklahoma National Guard is providing aerial fire support in Logan County with three Black Hawk helicopters.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) is assisting with ground to air fire observation as well as ground support for traffic control. OHP’s Command One trailer has also been requested on scene in Logan County.
An American Red Cross shelter remains open at Community Church at 512 E. Seward Road in Guthrie. Fourteen people stayed overnight at the shelters.
American Red Cross, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and the Salvation Army are providing meals to first responders and residents who have been displaced by the fire.
South Paws Grooming at 6933 E. Waterloo Road in Edmond is offering to assist with care for pets displaced by the fires. For additional pet and livestock services questions, visit the Red Cross Shelter at 512 E. Seward for more information.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports the following wildfire related power outages:
Central Rural Electric Cooperative - 107 outages in Logan County
Northwestern Electric Cooperative - 122 outages in Woodward County
2 outages in Woods County
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.
For information on how you can prepare for wildfires, go to the Oklahoma Forestry Services’ website http://www.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