Energy Operations Interrupted by State’s Wildfires

It’s still unclear as to the extent of wildfire damage possibly to energy operations in northwest Oklahoma.  Whether any wind farms or oil and gas operations were damaged or destroyed is not yet known.

But the wildfires burned an estimated 300,000 acres and left at least two persons dead—a 61-year old man overcome by smoke inhalation and a woman found dead in her burned car near Seiling.

The Oklahoma Emergency Management Department indicated in a report that the Fire Weather Watch remains in effect through Tuesday.

The Oklahoma Farm Report at the Oklahoma Radio Network indicated the loss to farmers and ranchers was devastating in some of the hard-hit areas, especially Dewey County.

A state of emergency for 52 counties was declared late last week by Gov. Mary Fallin.

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.

Under the governor’s executive order, state agencies may 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 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. The governor’s burn ban makes it unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands, or marshes; to build a bonfire or fire; to burn or ignite fireworks; or to burn trash or other materials outdoors in any of the listed counties.

Additional county burn bans are in place for the following counties: Alfalfa, Canadian, Grant, and Major.