Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 3
May 6, 2014 - 3:30 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 declared a State of Emergency Monday for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to 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 Warning for much of western and central Oklahoma until 10 p.m. Very dry air combined with strong southwest winds and hot temperatures will create dangerous wildfire conditions. The dry air will remain in-place across western Oklahoma tonight with little improvement in fire weather conditions. Some improvement will be noted farther east across central Oklahoma as moisture moves into the area.
A Red Flag Warning is posted for western Oklahoma on Wednesday. Dry air and hot temperatures will continue into Wednesday as strong southwest winds develop across the area. Extreme wildfire danger is likely again in northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle.
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.
EMSA reports more than 150 firefighters have been treated and released at their rehab location in Logan County.
Dewey County Emergency Management reports a new fire four miles west of Seiling.
Logan County Emergency Management and Guthrie Fire Department report a large wildfire continues to burn near Guthrie. More than 3,000 acres have burned and 30 structures have been destroyed, according to Guthrie Fire Department. Firefighters from more than 50 fire departments have assisted since Sunday evening.
Pawnee County Emergency Management reports a wildfire that began Sunday has rekindled again today. More than 1,500 acres have burned. A National Guard helicopter is being deployed to provide aerial fire support.
Woodward County Emergency Management and Woodward Fire Department reports three large grassfires are burning in the county. A wildfire located 4 miles northwest of Woodward is moving rapidly toward the northeast. Two National Guard helicopters are en route to provide aerial fire support. Task forces from Alfalfa County and Quapaw Tribe and are also en route to assist. Residents from County Road 194 and County Road 196 and East-West 37 and East-West 34 have been advised to immediately evacuate to the south. Those evacuated can go to the Woodward Pioneer Room at 1212 9th Street in Woodward. American Red Cross is setting up a rehab location for firefighters. An estimated 5000 acres have burned in Woodward County since Sunday, according to Oklahoma Forestry Services.
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.
The Oklahoma National Guard is providing aerial fire support in Woodward and Pawnee counties 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. Nine people stayed overnight at the shelters and 42 meals were served.
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.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is providing Ash-Out Teams to help homeowners in Logan County clear fire debris from burned properties. They also have chaplains on scene.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture reports livestock are being sheltered at the Lazy E Arena at 9600 Lazy E Drive in Guthrie. Stray small animals are being sheltered at the Guthrie Animal Shelter at 415 W. Commerce Blvd. in Guthrie.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports the following wildfire related power outages:
Central Rural Electric Cooperative reports power has been restored to all customers who can take power.
Northwestern Electric Cooperative reports 115 outages in Woodward County and 2 outages in Woods County
A Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been approved for the Guthrie Fire. The FMAG will provide recovery assistance to fire departments and other emergency organizations to help cover eligible expenses related to responding to the fire.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is 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.
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