Ariel photo of the 350 Complex Fire in Woodward County. Photo is courtesy of Roy Anderson, Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
From Oklahoma Forestry Services: Firefighters battle new large wildfires in Woodward County
What began as four separate fires merged into one large wildfire, named the 350 Complex, on Wednesday afternoon in Woodward County. Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Incident Management Team is working in unified command with the Woodward Fire Department to battle the 55,308 acre blaze, utilizing firefighting task forces, heavy equipment and very large air tankers to suppress the fire. High winds have created the perfect recipe for fire danger, resulting in 115 personnel working this fire, with more resources being ordered to assist.
The 350 Complex Fires were started by power lines that were whipped around and arced by winds that were sustained at 30 mph and gusted to over 50 mph. The fire is 0% contained as of Wednesday morning. An unknown number of structures were lost, but no injuries or deaths have been reported at this time.
Warm temperatures, relative low humidity and high winds contributed to the start of additional fires yesterday afternoon. Oklahoma Forestry Services is in unified command with the Guthrie Fire Department in responding to the Meridian Fire north of Luther in Logan County, which as burned an estimated 500 acres and is 80% contained as of Thursday morning.
“With the fires we are experiencing and Red Flag Warnings in effect for most of the state, we have to remind the public again that doing anything to cause a spark is extremely dangerous today and over the next few days,” said Geissler. “Any fires that start in these conditions will have the potential to spread very quickly and present erratic fire behavior.”
In addition to avoiding outdoor burning or any activity that could cause a spark, the public is urged to remain vigilant and report any fire or smoke to their local fire departments. Citizens are also being asked, for their own safety as well as the firefighters, to avoid traveling near any wildfires. It is imperative to keep the roadways clear for firefighters and other emergency responders.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is working in cooperation with local fire departments, County Wildland Task Forces and County and State Emergency Management to suppress the fires and protect lives and property across the state. Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention, protection and use. For additional information about wildfires, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information.