Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 5
March 9 – 6 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to 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).
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains 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 (OSF) reports an OSF Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) is in Unified Command with Woodward, Buffalo, Laverne, Slapout and Mooreland. The Southern Region Red Team (Type 1 IMT) will take over command Friday morning. Numerous OFS overhead, heavy equipment, Type 6 Engines, and aircraft are assigned to the complex to assist local fire departments with the control efforts. Other state forestry resources from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky have arrived and are committed to the firefighting effort. Today’s operations on all three fires include: continue constructing control lines where needed, securing established control lines, mop-up and patrol.
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 acres
Seven local task forces from Blaine, Delaware, Dewey, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Rogers, Washita and Woods counties responded to the fires today. Three task forces from Carter, Grady and Jefferson counties responded overnight.
Additional fires have been reported today in Johnston, Okfuskee, and Osage counties. No assistance was requested for these fires.
ASSISTANCE FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry provides the following information for farmers and ranchers impacted by the fires in northwest Oklahoma.
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. Donations to the relief effort can be made by mail or online. Checks should be made payable to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo line, and can be mailed to P.O. Box 82395 Oklahoma City, OK 73148. Online donations can be made at www.okcattlemen.org.
Donations of hay can be made at the following locations:
- Buffalo Feeders at 4 miles east of Buffalo, OK on Highway 64 (Contact: Caleb Nelson (580) 727-1332)
- Tyree Ag on US-283 in Laverne, OK (Contact: Jay Dee Nielsen (580) 334-6819)
- Dale Long, northeast of Gate, OK (Contact: Dale Long (580) 571-1249)
- May Coop Elevator in May, OK (Contact: Tom Fanning (580) 727-5530)
- Buffalo Coop at 322 E Harper in Buffalo, OK (Contact: Beverly Mings (580) 735- 2533)
- Western Equipment at 3999 Lakeview Drive in Woodward, OK (Contact: Caleb Zook (580) 254-0080)
For donations of trucking services contact the Harper County Extension Office at (580) 735-2252.
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) also has disaster assistance programs available that may be able to provide relief to producers affected by the fires. Producers planning to apply for assistance should document all losses with records and pictures. The Harper County FSA can be reached at (580) 735-2033 ext. 2, and the Woodward County FSA at (580) 756-7882 ext. 2.
Producers can also seek assistance FSA’s Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible loss conditions including eligible adverse weather, eligible disease and eligible attacks. For more information on LIP, contact your local FSA office.
FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) helps farmers and ranchers repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and help put in place methods of water conservation during severe drought by providing funding and assistance. Farmers and ranchers can check with their local FSA office for more information on ECP.
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) is also administered by the FSA of USDA. This program covers losses due to an eligible adverse weather or loss condition including blizzards, disease, water shortages and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary. ELAP covers losses not covered under other disaster assistance programs such as LIP. For more information on the ELAP program, contact your local FSA office.
American Red Cross, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and the Salvation Army continue to provide meals, snacks and hydration for first responders in all affected northwest Oklahoma counties
The Salvation Army reports they have already provided more than 1,000 meals, 2,500 drinks and 1,500 snacks since Monday.
The American Red Cross is also assisting residents who have lost their homes in the fires. Northwest Oklahoma fire victims who need assistance can call the local Red Cross office at 580-256-3828 or 1-800-REDCROSS.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is providing three eye wash stations for first responders.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 271 power outages in northwest Oklahoma:
Northwestern Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 230
- Beaver - 212
- Ellis - 7
- Harper - 11
Tri-County Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 41
ASSISTANCE FOR FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND RESPONSE AGENCIES
Through the FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) approved for the Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Outbreak Complex affecting Beaver, Harper, Ellis, Woods and Woodward counties, local fire departments and other response agencies may be eligible for reimbursements for costs associated with emergency protective measures and firefighting activities.
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management continues to advise agencies 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.
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.