OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Forestry Services held a press conference Friday, as thousands of acres continue to burn in northwestern Oklahoma, and historic fire danger continues for western and central Oklahoma.
“When we say it’s a no burn day, we really mean that today,” Michelle Finch-Walker, with the Oklahoma Forestry Services, said.
Thousands of acres have been burning in several parts of the state, with what fire officials are calling historic fire danger conditions.
“There are roughly four fires that were very problematic and continued to burn throughout the night. I’ll address those,” Mark Goeller, the OK Forestry Services fire chief, said. “We have the 34 Complex which is burning in Woodward County just to the north of Woodward.”
That fire has burned 115,000 acres.
Then there’s the Rhea Fire in Dewey County, which has burned around 82,000 acres.
Those are the two largest fires, with a few smaller ones in Roger Mills County, Lincoln and Logan County.
“I will mention the fire in Dewey County, we are seeing that that fire has moved into Vici, and has had some structure loss,” Goeller said.
“The weather condition that supported those fires yesterday will be spreading east into central Oklahoma today. So we have pretty great concern,” Todd Lindley, with the National Weather Service, said.
That’s why officials have a important reminder for us all these next few days.
“It includes things like, a decision to use a charcoal grill, to go out and weld on your property. Today’s not the day. Tomorrow’s not the day,” Finch-Walker said.
“Don’t be deceived. If you think today, oh I’ll go out, it rained this morning, I’m going to go out and burn a brush pile, that’s a really bad idea because of the conditions we could see today and tomorrow,” Goeller said.
Officials said fire danger will remain in place focused on the western half of the state through the weekend and into next week.