Chickasaw National Recreation Area plans to begin a series of prescribed fires beginning February 1, 2013 and continuing this spring when weather conditions are favorable. These burns will occur in the Five Lakes, Hunting, and Point, Golf Course, and South Boundary areas of the park.
These burns will be the final phase of a multi-month, $1.4-million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project. These prescribed fires will burn slash from 3,000 acres of thinned eastern red cedar cut during the summer and fall of 2010 and 2012. Native to Oklahoma, eastern red cedar is extremely invasive. The tree species creates a wildfire hazard, displaces other species from the natural ecosystem, impairs local air quality by producing allergens, and contributes to the general decline of the local water table. Under natural conditions eastern red cedar is limited by periodic natural fires.
Prescribed fires improve forest health by promoting nutrient recycling, increasing habitat diversity, and reducing fuels that lead to unwanted, out-of-control wildfires. Habitat improvement from the fires will contribute to increases in species such as deer and turkey and thereby improve hunting opportunities. Residents near these burn areas also will benefit because the fuel from dead plant material that has accumulated over the years is reduced under controlled conditions. This significantly reduces the threat a wildfire would pose to people and property in and near the park.
|Current as of|
|Incident Type||Prescribed Fire|
|Location||Five Lakes, Hunting, Point, Golf Course, and South Boundary areas|
These prescribed fires will burn slash from approximately 2,700 acres of thinned eastern red cedar cut during the summer and fall of 2010 and 2012. Native to Oklahoma, eastern red cedar is extremely invasive. The tree species creates a wildfire hazard, displaces other species from the natural ecosystem, impairs local air quality by producing allergens, and contributes to the general decline of the local water table. Under natural conditions eastern red cedar is limited by periodic natural fires.
The project area will be broken up in to small blocks or units to take advantage of a variety of burn windows. The smaller units will allow fire managers to stop or slow or increase the pace of ignitions based unpon daily weather conditions. All of the firing will be done using hand ignition methods (drip torch or flares) in order to control the amount of fire on the ground at any one time. Intermittent delays along roadways may be possible. Please slow down, turn your lights on, and watch for firefighters working along the road. For your safety, please do not stop along the road in the vicinity of the burn.
Smoke from these prescribed fires may be visible from I-35 and in downtown Sulphur, Davis, Dougherty, Rock Creek, Veterans Lake, Buckhorn areas, Goddard Youth Camp Road, and along Chickasaw Trail but every effort will be made to minimize smoke impacts. Wind direction and upper level mixing of smoke will be utilized in an attempt to eliminate or reduce these inconveniences. Smoke will be present in the vicinity during burning, but is generally expected to settle over the Lake of the Arbuckles and disperse overnight. If you would like to receive daily updates on which burn unit will be ignited and predicted direction of smoke impacts, please call 580 622-7282 or visit http://www.inciweb.org.