Volunteers from several local fire departments have traveled to Northwestern Oklahoma to assist crews from across the country in combating wild fires over hundreds of thousands of acres.
Firefighters, pilots and other task force staff from volunteer and county agencies around the state have converged with
Oklahoma Forestry Service and Oklahoma Emergency Management and other entities.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported closures at US Highway 270 and State Highway 51 at 1 mile south of US Highway 183 and US Highway 283 in Dewey County.
The intersection known locally as the Canton Y was closed due to smoke-limiting visibility, according to Troop H Sgt. Kathy Alexander. The second closure was due to a wild fire’s proximity to the highways according to OHP Cpt. Donald Kerr’s report. Troop J reported a shut down at US 270 and State Highway 58 from Watonga to Seiling, also due to wild fires.
In addition to the larger fires known as 34 Complex and Rhea, three fires in Caddo County burned several hundred acres at Dollar Pond, Citation, and Botone before being contained. The Martha fire in Jackson County does not have a new estimate for the number of acres burned, but it holds at about 70 percent contained. The fires at Rhea in Dewey County and 34 Complex in Woodward County have not changed much in status, holding at 3 and 45 percent contained respectively today as crews worked against conditions more favorable for fire than fire control.
Efforts continued to stop the spread of fires rather than attempting to take on the head of the fire. Crews were instructed not to risk lives due to the red flag conditions across the state.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry’s report, with southwest winds from 25-35 miles per hour with gusts of 50 mph or more along with relative humidity values in the low single digits, the probability of explosive and rapid rates of spread was high.
Ongoing fires required extensive patrol and mop up to prevent escape.
Available resources include five Oklahoma Forestry Task Forces, five air attack platforms, three type 1 air tankers, two CL-415 super scoopers, one OHP/OFS aerial observation platform, two type 1 helicopters, four SEATs two National Guard helicopters. County Wildland Task Forces are prepared for mobilization as well.
For more information on burn bans currently in effect, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info.  There is still a need for hay and feed for rescued livestock. All other donations are asked to be sent in cash. Contact the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management for more information.