Fire Is A Real Danger Today Across Southwest Oklahoma
When temps are warm, the weather is dry, the humidity is low, and winds are swift, fire is a real danger to the landscape around you. Today is the day all of those conditions are primed for what could end up a long and smokey day for fire crews. As we roll through the next few hours, you might be extra-vigilant about your actions to prevent the next raging wildfire.
I believe it was back in 2011 the last time a fire burned out of control in our neck of the woods. That's not to say fires haven't happened since then, but the 2011 fire season was one for the record books. It took off with the refuge in its sight and never looked back. Fire crews did what they could, but it burned out of control for weeks.
I lived in OKC at the time and was driving through to go have a weekend in the desert that is Hollis, as I passed the Cache exit I had to pull over and just watch. You couldn't see the mountains just adjacent to US62, but there were dozens and dozens of elk bedded down in a field just off the highway. I'd never seen so many at once. They usually hang out where they have good cover in the mountains, but the fire had them displaced. As awesome a moment as that was, there's no telling what chaos ensued within the fire raging to the North.
That fire burned for a while, uncontrolled for the most part until a plan was mounted and carried out to end the ordeal. While the mountains did recover as expected, it sure made for some miserable days of smoke in Lawton.
That is what we are facing today. Conditions are perfect for chaos, it's up to you to do your part in preventing it. If you smoke, keep a can in the car to put your smokes out in. It may seem innocent enough, but tossing a lit cigarette butt out the window is a great way to start a wildfire.
If today's travel will take you off-road, try no avoid parking in tall grass and weeds. That exhaust pipe is hot enough to spark something off too.
If you're hauling a trailer, double-check you're not dragging your safety chains like some smooth-brained caveman.
...FIRE WEATHER WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON FOR WESTERN, NORTHERN, AND CENTRAL OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS...
TIMING...10am through 6pm WINDS...Southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY...As low as 20 percent.
IMPACTS...Any fires that start in this environment will be very difficult to control.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. Listen for later forecasts and possible Red Flag Warnings.
Fire prevention isn't hard, you just have to be smart about it.