Potential for elevated fire danger increases for western, central Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA – The potential for elevated fire danger will significantly increase this week and officials with the Oklahoma Forestry Services are asking Oklahomans to take wildfire precautions.

According to officials, the fire danger increases Tuesday through Thursday in western and central Oklahoma.

“We are monitoring weather and fire conditions carefully, as well as proactively positioning resources in the western part of the state to respond quickly to suppress wildfire starts,” said State Forester and Oklahoma Forestry Services Director, Mark Goeller.  “We are asking for the public’s help in preventing wildfires by avoiding any activities that could spark a wildfire during the forecast extreme fire weather.”

Officials say you should avoid burning brush or trash, dragging chains from vehicles or parking in dry grass. The public is also urged to report any suspicious smoke or wildfire to their closest fire department or call 911. Homeowners can make their homes more defensible by moving trash, debris and other flammable items like firewood piles or portable propane tanks a safe distance away from their home.

Oklahoma Forestry Services officials say they are positioning personnel, wildland fire engines and firefighting dozers in Guymon, Woodward and Weatherford.  An incident management team will also be in stationed in Woodward. Oklahoma National Guard and Oklahoma Highway Patrol air support has also been ordered.

“We are well prepared to fight new wildfires by placing these resources in strategic locations.  But the public can make a big difference in what happens over the next few days by preventing them from starting,” said Goeller.  “Now is the time to take all precautions.”

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