Keep that jacket handy! Those cooler temperatures aren’t going anywhere!

Potential wildfire predictions for upcoming winter season

OKLAHOMA – Conditions in Oklahoma are looking ripe for a very busy winter fire season and fire managers with the Oklahoma Forestry Services are monitoring drought conditions, fuel loads and weather forecasts while bracing for an active end to 2017.

And, early 2018 is predicted to be even worse with near, to-above normal temperatures and less than normal precipitation statewide, plus an above average availability of fuels that mean potential increased fire size. Fuels are grasses, branches, leaves and drought stricken trees that are available as fuel for a fire outbreak.

“This increased availability of fuels typically means that any fire that starts has the potential to grow large very quickly under fire weather conditions,” said Mark Goeller, Fire Management Chief for Oklahoma Forestry Services. “Through the combined effort with our partners with the National Weather Service, we’ve gotten so much better at accurately predicting fire outbreaks and this allows us to preposition firefighters and stage aircraft to quickly respond to new fires.”

Oklahomans are being asked to heed the warning and begin to look around their homes and property for ways to make it more defensible in the event of wildfire.

The National Interagency Coordination Center has already predicted that there will be above normal significant wildfire potential for most parts of Oklahoma.

Quick response by local and state resources means smaller fire size and safer conditions for those battling the blazes as well as better notification of those living the predicted fire areas. Oklahomans are being asked to heed the warning and begin to look around their homes and property for ways to make it more defensible in the event of wildfire.

Click here for the latest information on the state’s burn bans, fire weather conditions and daily wildfire situation reports.