Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 4
May 7, 2014 - 4:20 p.m.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to work with our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division to assist local firefighters with this wildfire outbreak. Other State partners involved include the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared a State of Emergency Monday for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to wildfires that began Sunday, May 4. The governor also issued an executive proclamation that declares a Burn Ban for 36 counties as drought conditions continue to worsen across Oklahoma.
The Governor’s Burn Ban makes it unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; to build a bonfire or fire; to burn or ignite fireworks; or to burn trash or other materials outdoors in any of the listed counties.
Counties under the burn ban are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of western Oklahoma until 9 p.m. Ongoing drought conditions across this area and hot temperatures will combine to create favorable wildfire conditions. Severe thunderstorms are possible across a large part of western and central Oklahoma Wednesday afternoon into the evening hours. The primary threat is large hail. Thunderstorms will move east into eastern Oklahoma during the overnight hours into Thursday. Additional severe thunderstorms are possible on Thursday.
More than 32,500 acres have burned in fires across the state since Sunday.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports:
Pawnee County Emergency Management reports more than 1,500 acres have burned.
In wildfire emergencies state law identifies the Oklahoma Division of Forestry under the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as operational lead for the State of Oklahoma. OEM continues to provide any requested resources as determined by Forestry in coordination with local incident command.
An American Red Cross shelter remains open at Community Church at 512 E. Seward Road in Guthrie. Two people stayed overnight at the shelter.
From noon to 6 p.m. on May 8-9, Community Church will serve as a resource center for residents who have been impacted by the wildfire.
Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corp. Stress Response volunteers are on site at the Guthrie shelter and at Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles for the Guthrie fire until Saturday, May 10.
American Red Cross, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and the Salvation Army are providing meals to first responders and residents who have been displaced by the fire.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is providing Ash-Out Teams to help homeowners in Logan County clear fire debris from burned properties. They also have chaplains on scene.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture reports livestock are being sheltered at the Lazy E Arena at 9600 Lazy E Drive in Guthrie. Stray small animals are being sheltered at the Guthrie Animal Shelter at 415 W. Commerce Blvd. in Guthrie.
A Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been approved for the Guthrie Fire. The FMAG will provide recovery assistance to fire departments and other emergency organizations to help cover eligible expenses related to responding to the fire.
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute is in effect in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
Fire danger remains very high today due to dry, windy conditions and high temperatures. Burn bans are in effect in four counties--Alfalfa, Cimarron, Custer and Roger Mills counties-- according to Oklahoma Forestry Services. Oklahomans are reminded to obey outdoor burning bans. Regardless of whether a burn ban is issued for your county, Oklahomans are advised not to burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is a major cause of wildfires in Oklahoma and under these conditions any fire can quickly spread and threaten homes and communities.
For more information on how you can prepare for wildfires, go to the Oklahoma Forestry Services’ website www.forestry.ok.gov.
Oklahomans are reminded to report any suspicious wild land fire activity to the Arson Tip Line 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO-ARSON).