Wildfires on the Rise in Oklahoma
Recent wildfires in Oklahoma have caused extensive damage across the state, officials said.
FILE – In this March 6, 2017, file photo, firefighters from across Kansas and Oklahoma battle a wildfire near Protection, Kan. When wildfires scorched more than 1 million acres in early March cross parts of the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas, weather forecasters used a new weather satellite to see the infernos developing, almost in real-time. (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)
Todd Lindley, a science and operation officer for the Norman National Weather Service, said the wildfires should stop near the end of the month of March or the beginning of April.
“The combination of fuel load necessity in the recent years and the drought occurring at the moment in Oklahoma is the main reason for the rise of wildfires,” Lindley said.
Edmond is one of the few cities in Oklahoma that has not been affected by the wildfires, so far. This is because of the exposure of moisture in the city, according to Deputy Fire Chief of the Edmond Fire Department, Chris Denton.
“We all have to urge the citizens to be more cautious of the coming month for the wildfire exposure and to look out for the fire ban so far,” Denton said.
Forestry.ok.gov shows the current counties under a burn ban are Tulsa, Alfalfa, Beaver and Woodward so far this month.
About 1.6 million acres have burned since the start of March, mostly in the northwestern part of Oklahoma. Recently fires in Woodward were put out by the fire departments of Oklahoma City, Edmond and Woodward.
“Everything we do for this state, we do for each other in time of crisis,” Denton said. “Edmond is close to work with the other fire departments in case of serious situations during the month of March.”
A new satellite is being developed in West Texas, according to Statesman. The satellite is called Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES 16) with the purpose of tracking future wildfires in the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.