Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 3
March 7 – 7 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to high fire danger and ongoing wildfires across the state today, the State Emergency Operations Center remains 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, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning across northern Oklahoma through Wednesday evening. 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.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for 22 Oklahoma counties due to ongoing wildfires and critical fire weather conditions that began Monday. 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.
The counties included in the governor’s declaration are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major, Noble, Osage, Payne, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods and Woodward.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, eight injuries have been reported by area hospitals for fire-related breathing complications.
Beaver County Emergency Management reports the large wildfire now referred to as the “Starbuck Fire” is still burning. Oklahoma Forestry Services reports more than 185,000 acres have already burned in this fire.
Payne County Emergency Management reports fire departments have responded to five fires throughout the day.
In Harper and Woodward counties, Oklahoma Forestry Services reports two National Guard helicopters and one U.S. Forestry Service helicopter responded to fires in Harper County and 2 U.S. Forestry Service Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) responded to fires in Woodward County. 10 Oklahoma Forestry Services Dozers were used for fires in both counties. Additionally, seven local task forces including an estimated 130 Type 6 Engine Trucks provided ground firefighting support. Additional task forces are scheduled to arrive Wednesday
At least 12 additional fires have been reported today in Beaver, Beckham, Comanche, Custer, Harper, Kingfisher, Major, McClain, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Osage, and Stephens counties.
FIRE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE GRANT
Last night, Oklahoma secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) related to the Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Outbreak Complex impacting five counties: Beaver, Harper, Ellis, Woods and Woodward. The FMAG, approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides assistance to fire departments, law enforcement and other agencies that responded to the fires.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief deployed a ‘Quick Response’ feeding unit to northwest Oklahoma to provide food and beverages to firefighters and other first responders. They also have a Disaster Relief team in eastern Oklahoma to assist residents impacted by Monday night’s severe storms.
American Red Cross is providing meals and snacks for firefighters and first responders in Ellis, Harper and Major counties.
The Salvation Army is providing meals for firefighters and other first responders in Major County. They are also sending two mobile feeding units to Woodward County to provide meals, water and emotional and spiritual care.
Feed the Children is providing 12 pallets of bottled water to the Salvation Army for their response efforts to the wildfires and their disaster services program.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is providing three eye wash stations for firefighters and first responders.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports more than 1,000 power outages statewide.
In northwest Oklahoma:
Northwestern Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 823
- Beaver - 365
- Ellis - 7
- Harper - 406
- Woodward - 45
Tri-County Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 45
- Beaver - 45
In northeast Oklahoma:
Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative Total Outages - 134
- Rogers - 67
- Tulsa - 67
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.