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Situation Update

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
February 18, 2016 – 7:15 p.m.


Due to high fire danger and ongoing wildfires across the state, the State Emergency Operations Center is activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas and is coordinating with Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Forestry Services Division, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and Civil Air Patrol.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for 76 of 77 counties until 7 p.m. Outdoor burning and other activities that could spark a fire are strongly discouraged. Do not throw cigarettes out car windows. Report any suspicious smoke or fires to your local law enforcement or fire authority.


Numerous fires have been reported to the State Emergency Operations Center including the following:

Craig County Emergency Management reports multiple fires including near E320 and S4320 and another fire located on Highway 85 between Ketchum and Langley.

Harper County Emergency Management reports a fire burning north of Buffalo is threatening homes. Evacuations are underway.

Le Flore County Emergency Management reports a fire south of Poteau.

Okfuskee County Emergency Management reports a fire near Pharoah.

Okmulgee County Emergency Management reports a fire near Nuyaka.

Nowata County Emergency Management reports three fires, including a fire near Lenapah and Delaware.

Pawnee County Emergency Management reports a fire near Pawnee Cove, 3 miles west of Highway 48 and Highway 64 junction. Homes are threatened and evacuations are underway.

Pittsburg County Emergency Management reports at least 3 fires. This includes a fire on McNally Road in north Pittsburg County.

Washington County and Nowata County Emergency Management officials report a fire near Wann on Highway 415 (near county border).

Additional fires have been reported in Canadian, Delaware, Grady, Hughes, Mayes, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie and Tulsa counties.


American Red Cross has supported first responders in Le Flore, Pittsburg, Pawnee, Okmulgee, Nowata, Cleveland, Harper and Delaware counties. They also provided assistance to residents in Nowata and Pittsburg counties.


According to Oklahoma Forestry Services:

  • Two Oklahoma Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters were assigned to the Nuyaka fire, which occurred in Okmulgee/Okfuskee counties
  • Two Oklahoma Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook Helicopters were assigned to the Pharoah Fire in Okfuskee County
  • One Type 1 Helicopter was assigned to the Gilmore Fire in LeFlore County
  • One Type 2 air tanker (CL-415 Super Scooper) and one Air Tactical Group Supervisor were assigned to the Pawnee Cove Fire
  • Two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) were assigned by the BIA to the Barnsdall fire (near Barnsdall) and Primary fire (southwest of Pawhuska) in Osage County
  • Two SEATs were assigned to the Buffalo fire west of Buffalo in Harper County
  • One Oklahoma Forestry Services Operations Specialist aboard an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Aircraft provided suppression assistance in Okfuskee County and Hughes County
  • Oklahoma Forestry Services Task Forces are currently engaged on the Sand Creek Fire in Okfuskee County

Oklahoma Forestry Services resources from the northeast and east-central area have been fully committed throughout the day on numerous large fires. The southeast area is currently working on two large fires that have seven dozers, seven Type 6 Engines, and 14 firefighters committed. Currently the southeast area only has three dozers and three Type 6 Engines uncommitted.

Numerous fire departments are committed throughout the state, with the primary area of concern in the eastern third of Oklahoma.


Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports all lanes of US-183 are closed north of Buffalo between US-64 and the Kansas state line until further notice due to a wildfire.

ODOT has activated the highway messages boards statewide to notify drivers of the dangerous fire conditions.

DIAL 211

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.


Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant

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