Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 4
March 8 – 6 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to high fire danger and ongoing wildfires across the state today, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and is coordinating with Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Forestry Services Division, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for a large part of northern Oklahoma through 9 p.m. Outdoor burning and other activities that could spark a fire are strongly discouraged. Do not throw cigarettes out car windows. Report any suspicious smoke or fires to your local law enforcement or fire authority.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency is in effect for 22 Oklahoma counties due to ongoing wildfires and critical fire weather conditions that began Monday. 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 counties included in the governor’s declaration are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major, Noble, Osage, Payne, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods and Woodward.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, eight injuries have been reported by area hospitals for fire-related breathing complications.
Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) reports an OFS Type 3 Incident Management Team is in Unified Command with Woodward, Buffalo, Laverne, Slapout and Mooreland. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered. Significant growth occurred on all fires in the complex. Numerous OFS overhead, heavy equipment and Type 6 Engines assigned to the complex to assist local fire departments with the control efforts.
OFS reports the following acres have burned:
Starbuck (Beaver and Harper County) – 715,484 acres total in Oklahoma and Kansas
Selman (Harper and Woodward County) – 47,289 acres
283 Fire (Harper County) – 71,168
Local task forces from Caddo, Grant, Logan, Major, Oklahoma, Payne, Pittsburg, Pontotoc counties and the town of Goltry responded to the fires today.
Additional fires have been reported today in Choctaw, McClain, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, and Osage counties. No assistance was requested for these fires.
ASSISTANCE FOR FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND RESPONSE AGENCIES
Through the FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) approved for the Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Outbreak Complex, local fire departments and other response agencies may be eligible for reimbursements for costs associated with emergency protective measures and firefighting activities.
Agencies are advised to document all costs related to equipment and supplies (including fuel), labor costs, travel and per diem, temporary repairs of damage caused by firefighting activities, mobilization and demobilization.
The FMAG was approved Monday night for the Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Outbreak Complex impacting five counties: Beaver, Harper, Ellis, Woods and Woodward.
American Red Cross, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and the Salvation Army are providing meals, snacks and hydration for first responders in all affected northwest Oklahoma counties.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is providing three eye wash stations for first responders.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports more than 1,000 power outages in northwest Oklahoma:
Northwestern Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 823
- Beaver - 365
- Ellis - 7
- Harper - 406
- Woodward - 45
Tri-County Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 45
HOW TO HELP
Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) offers the following tips:
When disaster strikes, the best way to support survivors of emergencies or disasters in Oklahoma is with cash donations to reputable voluntary organizations. Cash donations allow relief organizations or survivors to purchase what they need, when and where they need it. Buying supplies locally helps the local community recover by helping local businesses pay salaries and by keeping tax revenues in the community.
Do not send unsolicited donations of used clothing, miscellaneous items or perishable foods, which must be sorted, warehoused, transported and distributed. This requires more efforts and staffing to manage those resources and takes away from recovery efforts. If you must donate in-kind goods, make certain that they are specifically requested and needed by recognized organizations
FIRE RELIEF FUND ESTABLISHED FOR OKLAHOMA CATTLEMEN
A relief fund has been established by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) to help Beaver, Ellis, Harper and Woodward County Cattlemen who have been affected by recent wildfires in the area.
If you would like to donate to this relief effort, you can do so by mail or online. Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation and put “Fire Relief” in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395., Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit www.okcattlemen.org.
If you would like to donate hay or trucking services for hay, you can do so by contacting either the Harper County Extension Office at 580-735-2252 or Buffalo Feeders at 580-727- 5530 to make arrangements or provide trucking services.
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.