Saturday rainfall may offer a momentary reprieve to firefighters in northwestern Oklahoma, but the fires are still not controlled after ten days of consistent work by local, state, and national personnel.
The Rhea fire did not grow significantly Friday according to Oklahoma Forestry reports. A decrease in acreage, down to 288,694, is due to more accurate mapping. Night and day shifts have worked together to bring the total contained area to 29 percent. The windy conditions Friday did not lead to as much fire activity as was anticipated. The number of firefighters has been sufficient to staff the large perimeter and suppress flare ups. The fire was successfully held back from State Highway 34 despite the fire crossing to an inaccessible cedar-filled canyon on the northwest side, south of Vici, according to reports. Aircraft assisted those on the ground with water drops, keeping the fireline in check along Pee Wee Road south of Seiling, according to reports.
On Saturday, Oklahoma Emergency Management crews and equipment demobbed from Friday’s flare ups for some much-needed rest before they return to their home units. A total of 259 incident personnel are currently present at this site, including members of the Oklahoma National Guard.
Meanwhile, night shift continued patrolling 34 Complex firelines Friday night. As of Saturday, night shift will no longer patrol the 34 Complex site as there is no longer a need for it. Those who served on night shift will assist operations on the Rhea Fire. Day shift crews will continue to patrol and mop up any hot spots and will continue to reinforce firelines. Contingency resources continue to be available to respond with Oklahoma Forestry Services and local fire departments as needed.  The safety issue crews on Saturday and Sunday in the 34 Complex area will be watching for thunderstorms and other weather activity. For this site, there are 193 total personnel, 17 engines and other equipment, including air support.
The 34 Complex fire is currently measured at 62,089 acres with 65 percent contained. The red flag fire weather warning has been reduced to nil Saturday, significant as the preceding days’ warnings had been severe.
Widespread rain moved into western Oklahoma overnight, dropping an average of one-half inch of rain on the fire. The area could receive another quarter inch this afternoon. Cloud-to-ground lightning and erratic winds may accompany the rain, but severe weather is not forecasted to be part of this weather system. The maximum temperature will be in the mid 50s with a minimum humidity near 80 percent. Cool, wet conditions will keep fire behavior to a minimum. Although grass should not burn today, brush and trees will continue to smolder and retain heat. The amount of precipitation already received and anticipated today will not put the fires out, according to reports. As warmer temperatures and lower humidity returns, fire activity could rapidly increase.
The Governor’s 36 county burn ban is still in place. There is also a temporary flight restriction over engulfed areas for the Rhea fire.
The flight restriction has been lifted over the 34 Complex fire.  
Critical assistance is still needed with hay and livestock feed. To help with hay and livestock feed, please contact: OSU Extension at (405) 397-7912
Other ways to help: Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation www.okcattlemen.org
Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation www.okfarmingandranching.org
Oklahoma Farmers Union Foundation PO Box 24000, Oklahoma City, OK 73124