News

Norman February Workshop for OK-FIRE Announced

Operational since 2006, OK-FIRE is a weather-based decision-support system for wildland fire management.  OK-FIRE uses the Oklahoma Mesonet for current/recent conditions and an 84-hour forecast to predict weather, fire danger, and smoke dispersion conditions out to three days in the future. Accordingly, with respect to wildfire, OK-FIRE is useful for monitoring not only current fire danger conditions, but also, with its predictive component, for suppression strategies on existing fires and assessing fire danger potential over the next three days, which can aid in determining staffing levels. With respect to prescribed fire, the system can be used to safely plan for and monitor conditions during a prescribed burn.


Over the past two years, a new OK-FIRE website (http://www.mesonet.org/index.php/okfire) has been developed; the beta version was released on June 30 last year and the old website was retired in early October. The new OK-FIRE is more user-friendly but substantially different in terms of layout and content, so training, even for current users, is important.  Seven full-day workshops occurred last fall throughout the state, but due to high demand, we have decided to hold another training workshop on Thursday February 1 in Norman at the National Weather Center.  The workshop will consist of 6 hours of training (with an hour break for lunch) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  It will be led by Dr. J. D. Carlson, OSU fire meteorologist and OK-FIRE program manager, and consist of a combination of presentations and lab exercises in which attendees will get hands-on experience with the new OK-FIRE website.  Attendees will need to bring their own laptop computers or tablets.  Only those who work directly (or indirectly) with wildland fire (wildfire and/or prescribed fire) should attend.

Registration is required and can be done by completing the linked form (https://goo.gl/forms/QbbRdOAvL2XqNh6u2) or by contacting Andrea Melvin (andrea@mesonet.org; 405-325-2652) at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Applications will be accepted through Sunday, January 28.  There is no cost for the workshop, aside from travel costs to and from Norman. More information about the workshop (including directions) will be sent out on Monday, January 29.  The workshop will be filled on a first register, first served basis.  Please note again that this workshop is designed only for those who directly or indirectly work with wildland fire, and only those who fall into these categories should register.

Attendees will learn about fire weather, fire danger, and smoke dispersion products available on OK-FIRE, how to use them, and how to access their past, current, and forecast values via maps, charts, and tables.  Wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke applications will be covered.