Oklahoma Is Entering A Second Early Wildfire Season
Traditionally and historically, Oklahoma's wildfire season usually spans the cooler months when the grass goes dormant from November through March, but 2022 has been a very different story so far.
The year started with what had to be a record number of winter weather events. Ice and snow on New Year's Day, more winter storms every two or three weeks after that through mid-April, we actually had a true winter this year. When the spring weather did finally arrive, it gave a little rain but ultimately dried up in June and temperatures proceeded to bake the state until nearly September.
This year SWOK has seen a thrush of wildfire activity. The mountains caught on fire. Everything north of the mountains caught on fire. Between Lawton and Duncan, Wichita Falls, Altus, etc... Extremely hot temps and a record lack of rain provided plenty of tender for even the smallest sparks, but when the rains came, we all hoped that was over.
Not so much.
A week or two of steady rains did provide a lush forest green carpet of growth as far as your eyes could see across the land, but when the rain stopped, we dried out again leading to another unseasonal threat of wildfires.
While it's not as dire as mid-summer was, the warm, dry, and breezy weather is only going to increase the fire risks as we roll into a proper fall season.
If anything, we should all focus on fire prevention where we can. Simple things like not burning logs in the fire pits, using common sense when grilling, being mindful enough not to toss cigarettes out the window, and tying up trailer chains. As always, don't park your vehicle in tall grass, try to stay on maintained roadways, spark arrestors in the dirt bikes, etc...
As bad as it has been, we haven't even reached peak-wildfire season yet. It's bound to get worse as time passes by.