Officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services are asking Oklahomans to take wildfire precautions, as the potential for elevated fire danger significantly increases Tuesday through Thursday in western and central Oklahoma.
“We are monitoring weather and fire conditions carefully, as well as proactively positioning resources in the western part of the state to respond quickly to suppress wildfire starts,” said State Forester and Oklahoma Forestry Services Director, Mark Goeller. “We are asking for the public’s help in preventing wildfires by avoiding any activities that could spark a wildfire during the forecast extreme fire weather.”
Avoiding activities such as burning brush or trash, dragging chains from vehicles or parking in dry grass is critical. In addition to preventing wildfires, the public is urged to report any suspicious smoke or wildfire to their closest fire department or call 911. Homeowners can make their homes more defensible by moving trash, debris and other flammable items like firewood piles or portable propane tanks a safe distance away from their home.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is positioning personnel, wildland fire engines and firefighting dozers in Guymon, Woodward and Weatherford. Additionally, an incident management team will be in stationed in Woodward. Oklahoma National Guard and Oklahoma Highway Patrol air support has also been ordered.
“We are well prepared to fight new wildfires by placing these resources in strategic locations. But the public can make a big difference in what happens over the next few days by preventing them from starting,” said Goeller. “Now is the time to take all precautions.”
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information