Friday, April 10, 2009

Fires Out ???

Most of the fires across central Oklahoma were extinguished today. But not after
doing several millions of dollars in damage.

At least 100 homes and business were destroyed in the outbreak of wildfires
across central parts of the state.

Fires continue to burn in South Central Oklahoma in the Carter County area.

Red Cross Chapters as well as our VOAD partners continue to operate
shelters in several areas including Duncan, Midwest City, and Nicoma Park.

Much needed rain is in the forecast for late Saturday night and Sunday. This too
comes with a price. Along with the forecast of rain, it appears there will be a risk of
severe weather across the southern 1/3 of Oklahoma.

This will include all counties in the Chapter Service area. People
are asked to monitor local media, Weatehr Radio, and any other means
of keeping track of the weather this week-end.

A good way to do this is to keep up with the Altus Emergency Management
on their blog at or follow them on twitter at

Central Oklahoma Wildfires

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has
approved a Fire Management Grant for the Oklahoma Wildfires
that occurred yesterday.

FMAG Disaster number 2808 was approved under the name
Oklahoma Midwest Choctaw Fire.

This will allow local officials to be re-imbursed for approved
expenses they incurred while responding to or fighting the

It is very important that accurate records be kept when responing to
emergency or disaster situations in case a Federal Disaster Declaration
in approved. By doing so, you are documenting your expenses, and may
qualify for re-imbursement. Without the documentation, you guarantee
that you will not receive re-imbursement.

For more information about disaster relief, contact the local chapter
at 482-5303 or or contact Altus Emergency Management
at 482-8336. You can also follow them on twitter at
or view their blog at

SWOARC on Stand-by

SWOARC is on standby to assist other chapters in Central Oklahoma
with response to the wildfires that occurred yesterday (Thurs 4/9/09).

Fires destroyed many acres of grassland, homes, outbuildings, vehicles,
and anything else in the its path.

Just east of the Dryline in far Eastern Oklahoma, a few tornado's were
experienced. I have not seen or heard any damage reports from the
tornado's in Oklahoma as of yet. I have seen and heard a little from
Mena Arkansas.

News Media is reporting this morning at 7:30 that all fires are out.
Many people in the Midwest City and Chotaw area lost homes.
Several structures we damaged or lost in Stephens Co as well.

Southwest Oklahoma Chapter remains on standby to assist should the
need arise.

For more information, call John at the chapter office 482-5303.

To help those affected by the wildfires, Red Cross needs your help. Make a
donation to the local disaster relief fund at

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Extreme Wildfire Danger

Click on article name to see lastest info from National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service in Norman has issued a Red Flag Warning for most of
Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas.

A Red Flag Warning means that extreme wildfire conditions with strong winds,
low humidities, and warm temps will make it extremely difficult to extinguish or
gain control of a wild fire.

Please use extreme caution outdoors today and remain aware of possible
fire warnings. Follow Altus Emergency Management at
or for the latest and up to date info.

For more information about wildfire preparedness call the Southwest Oklahoma Chapter
at 482-5303 or come by to see us at 905 N. Willard Street, Altus, OK or visit the web site

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wheeler, Texas Wildfire

Large wildfires were reported over the weekend. The closest to us was at
Wheeler, Texas (called the Magic City Fire TX-TXS-990075) which burned about
15,000 acres since Saturday.

8 Homes and 26 outbuildings burned, and an unknown number of cattle
have died. 2 firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Communications was hampered by the power outages in the area. Landlines
and Cellular phones were not working. Radio communications and Satellite was
about the only way to pass a message.

Texas Forest Service advised that over 40 Fire Departments had responded to the
Fire by Saturday evening. Air support was unavailable until late in the evening due to
the winds. 2 large air tankers and 2 SEATs were able to assist late in the evening.

The Nursing Home and Hospital were evacuated to Shamrock, Canadian, and Elk City.
Residents were asked to evacuate to Elk City as Well. I talked to Patty at
Western Oklahoma Capter late in the evening and she advised that 80 people
had signed into the shelter at Elk City and the Baptist Church was preparing

The evacuation order was lifted Saturday evening and residents were allowed to return
home. Texas Forest Service also advised that the Highways in the area had been reopened.
With the evacuation order lifted, everyone left, and Patty was able to close shelter operations.

On Sunday, the fire continued to burn, but electric crews were able to restore power
to the town of Wheeler around 1:30 PM. No new loss of structures or injuries reported.

As of about 10 PM Sunday night, the fire continued to burn.