Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 3
April 14 – 7:30 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to high fire danger and 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, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
A Red Flag Fire Warning continues through 9 p.m. for parts of western Oklahoma with strong northwest winds gusting to 50 mph and low relative humidity values. Fire weather conditions are expected to improve on Sunday and Monday.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in effect for 52 Oklahoma counties due to ongoing wildfires and critical fire weather conditions that began Thursday. 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, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Major, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Noble, Oklahoma, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
FIRE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE GRANTS SECURED
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state’s request for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) for the 34 Complex Fire in Woodward County and Rhea Fire that began in Dewey County. The grants will help reimburse local governments, volunteer fire departments and other first responders for costs associated with responding to the fires. The authorization makes FEMA funding available to reimburse 75 percent of state, local and tribal government eligible firefighting costs for the designated fires. Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Agencies are advised to document all costs related to equipment and supplies (including fuel), labor costs, travel and per diem, temporary repairs of damage caused by firefighting activities, mobilization and demobilization. OEM will continue to assess the need for additional federal assistance.
INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports a 61-year-old man died Thursday in Roger MIlls County as a result of injuries sustained in the fire that began southeast of Leedey.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, seven injuries have been reported by area hospitals:
- Smoke inhalation – 3
- Heat-related injuries - 4
SHELTERS AND MASS CARE
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Martha Road Baptist Church at 20388 E. County Road 158 in Altus for those displaced by the Martha Fire in Jackson County.
Shelters in Fairview and Woodward are now closed but could reopen if additional evacuations are needed in Dewey and Woodward counties.
Jackson County Emergency Management reports evacuations are ongoing for the west side of the town of Martha due to a wildfire. Fire departments from Olustee, Martha, Blair, Warren, Altus, Friendship and Mangum working this fire. Kiowa County is providing equipment and personnel through mutual aid. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are also responding. Oklahoma Forestry Services reports a fire suppression group is in route.
City of Hollis Emergency Management reports the Madge Fire in Harmon County that began in Texas and crossed the state line Friday is still burning. Jackson County task force responded to the fire along with fire departments from Hollis, Mangum and Vinson. Three bulldozers from Texas are on site with additional support in route. This fire is estimated at 27,000 acres.
Dewey County Emergency Management reports there are currently no ongoing evacuation requests for the Rhea Fire, which has now burned more than 241,280 acres. Oklahoma Forestry Services more than 500 firefighters are responding to this fire along with three heavy air tankers, a large helicopter and an air attack plane. Six local fire task forces are on scene.
Woodward County Emergency Management reports three fire task forces are responding to the 34 Complex fire today along with numerous local fire departments.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports all highways closed previously due to fire conditions are currently open.
BURN BAN REMAINS IN EFFECT
The Governor’s Burn Ban remains in effect for 16 counties: Beaver, Beckham, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills, Texas, Washita, Woods, and Woodward. Additional county burn bans are in place for the following counties: Alfalfa, Canadian, Grant, and Major.
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.
HOW TO HELP
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry reports three relief funds have been established.
Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation
Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo line and mail to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit www.okcattlemen.org.
Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation
Make checks payable to the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. To donate online, visit www.okfarmingandranching.org.
Oklahoma Farmers Union Foundation
Make checks payable to Farmers Union Foundation, Inc., with “Wildfire Relief” in the memo line and mail to the attention of Wildfire Relief at P.O. Box 24000, Oklahoma City, OK 73124.
One hundred percent of the donations will be distributed to the relief efforts.
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.