Most Of Oklahoma In Danger Of Extreme Fire Weather
This line from "Oklahoma!" always rings true for Oklahoma, "where the wind comes sweeping down the plains." We like to reference this line when Oklahoma gets a gust of its infamous high winds, but these can be dangerous, especially when we're experiencing dry conditions.
According to the National Weather Service in Norman, the wind will be sweeping down the plains in Oklahoma today, Tuesday, April 4. Southwest winds will get up to 25-35 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. These strong winds could aid in producing extreme fire weather conditions in the afternoon across northwestern Oklahoma and western north Texas.
High impact areas include areas northwest of line from Ponca City to Yukon to Lawton, Oklahoma, to Seymour, Texas. You can view this line in the graphic from the National Weather Service in Norman below.
Fire weather outlook will continue through the week.
Today has the highest impact of fire weather in the extreme category, but the fire weather will continue through the week with elevated fire danger through Friday.
Wildfires can cause damage to more than just land and wildlife!
Last week, areas near Oklahoma City experienced several wildfires. Traffic was either stalled or rerouted on highways. Below is a TikTok from a driver traveling south on I-35 headed towards Guthrie, Oklahoma. A large wildfire crossing the highway caused traffic to stop completely on the highway. Traffic was eventually instructed to turn around.
@tiktoktonyg #wildfire #oklahoma #oklahomafire #iowa #iowacheck #iowahawkeyes #iowahawkeyebasketball #finalfour #wfinalfour #guthrieoklahoma #fire #ncaabasketball #ncaa ♬ original sound - T.J. Gardner
Homes in Oklahoma City were also damaged during last week's wildfire. According to a story from News9, the Oklahoma City Fire Department estimated over 350 emergency calls ranging from downed power lines, vehicle fires, grass and trash fires. And the Oklahoma Foestry Services reported that 708 acres burned, while the Oklahoma City Emergency Management said three homes were destroyed and three were damaged.
What you can do to prevent wildfires.
The Oklahoma Forestry Services posted on its Facebook page what you can do to prevent wildfires:
- Avoid all activities that may spark a wildfire
- Call 911 if you suspect a wildfire
- Adhere to evacuation notices
- Monitor fire warnings and avoid areas with ongoing wildfires