Oklahoma’s #RheaFire | Update 2

Incident Summary

The #RheaFire is currently burning one (1) mile west of Rhea, Oklahoma in the area of the Oklahoma Division of the Forestry.  

Resources

There are currently 56 personnel along with 18 engines and two (2) helicopters assigned and on the fire line.  Fire Command is being managed by a Florida IMT Type 1 team.

State of Emergency

Oklahoma State Lt. Governor Todd Lamb extended and expanded a burn ban from the original Declaration of 16 counties to a new total of 36, in the western and central areas of the State.  This is due to extreme and extraordinary fire danger and one that is out of the norm for these area.

The burn ban is now in effect until further notice for the following State’s Counties:  Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Major, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward. 

Fire Conditions

Fire behavior remains active with running, flanking and spotting consuming everything in its path.  This firestorm has destroyed 243,520 acres. 

Fire crews have reached a 3% containment status and are still focused on fire suppression and containment efforts.

Weather Forecast

No automatic alt text available.

Courtesy of Oklahoma Forestry Services

Effective Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for much of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Extreme fire danger is predicted to begin early in the burning period lasting well into the night and on into the early morning hours on Wednesday given the current state of wildland fuels and forecast weather conditions. Within the Warned Area, temperatures in the upper 80°’s and low 90°’s, clear skies and relative humidity values of 5-15% will deliver fine-dead fuel moisture values as low as 2% with widespread observations of 3% expected. Extreme rates of fire spread complicated by problematic fire behavior including single and group tree torching, crown runs in juniper (redcedar), and spotting will be present on any fire that becomes established.

A Red Flag Warning/Fire Weather Watch is currently in effect. Please refer to http://www.weather.gov/ for the latest updates to the fire weather forecast. 

Damage Assessments

There has been 50 structures reportedly lost.  Homes are still under threat but crews are working to provide structure protection.

The total cost-to-date have reached $946,000.

 

(c) 2018 Firestorms and Disasters

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