Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
April 6, 2011 5:30 p.m.
CONTACT: Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
STATE EOC ACTIVATED DUE TO WILDFIRES
Due to the severe fire conditions across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center is at Level Three activation, which involves extended operating hours for key personnel. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas. Additionally, OEM is working with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma State Department of Health, National Weather Service and Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared by Gov. Mary Fallin for wildfires on March 11. Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
Hot and dry conditions combined again today with dormant vegetation to produce critical wildfire conditions. These conditions will persist through the evening hours and will be cause for concern again on Thursday. Red Flag Fire Warnings are posted for western Oklahoma on Thursday.
- A National Guard helicopter was deployed to provide water drops on a fire near the Keystone Dam.
- Forestry Services provided dozers and other ground equipment on a fire near Sand Springs.
- A large fire was located in Texas County between Goodwill and Texhoma. Four homes were evacuated in the path of the fire.
- A large fire in the Jones/Spencer area has required evacuations. A National Guard helicopter is responding to provide water drops on the fire. Additionally, firefighters and equipment from Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher and Oklahoma counties are responding to provide mutual aid.
- Caddo County Emergency Management reported a large wildfire northwest of Cement where six structures were threatened. A National Guard helicopter is responding to provide water drops on this fire as well.
The State EOC is working with the Oklahoma National Guard to provide aerial fire suppression via Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters equipped with buckets. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is assisting with traffic control. Oklahoma Forestry Services is providing ground firefighting equipment.
The American Red Cross reports they have opened an evacuation center for those displaced by the Oklahoma County wildfire at First United Methodist Church, 106 Cherokee in Jones.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute remains 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 is high to very high across the state and numerous burn bans remain in effect, Oklahoma Forestry Services reports. Oklahomans are reminded to obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t 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 threaten homes and communities.
Oklahomans are reminded to report any suspicious wild land fire activity to the Arson Tip Line 1-866-662-7766 (1-866-NO-ARSON).
Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant