STILLWATER, Okla. – Continually growing in popularity, OK-FIRE now has a new, more user-friendly website. The new website is substantially different in terms of layout and content than the old one.
Operational since 2006, OK-FIRE is a weather-based decision-support system and an extremely helpful tool for wildland fire managers throughout Oklahoma. Because of the new design and different methodologies for accessing products, both new and old users are encouraged to attend a training workshop to learn about the new intricacies of the new site, which can be found at http://www.mesonet.org/index.php/okfire.
OK-FIRE program manager, J.D. Carlson, fire meteorologist in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Biosytems and Agricultural Engineering, will lead the workshops, which begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m., with an hour break for lunch.
“The workshops will consist of a combination of presentations and computer lab exercises in which the attendees will get hands-on experience with the new OK-FIRE website,” Carlson said. “Wildfire, as well as prescribed fire, applications will be covered.”
Seven locations and dates have been scheduled for workshops: Bartlesville, Oct. 12; Antlers, Oct. 26; Woodward, Nov. 2; Altus, Nov. 16; Ardmore, Nov. 30; El Reno, Dec. 13; and Stillwater, Dec. 18.
“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,” Carlson said. “Wildfire, prescribed fire and smoke applications will be covered.”
A program of the Oklahoma Mesonet, OK-FIRE uses Oklahoma’s automated weather station network 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 for suppression strategies on existing fires and assessing fire danger potential over the next three days, which can aid in determining staffing levels,” Carlson said. “With respect to prescribed fire, the system can be used to safely plan for and monitor conditions during a prescribed burn.”
Because space is limited for these free workshops, only those who work directly with wildland fire, or advise those who do, are encouraged to attend. Workshops will be filled on a first registered, first served basis.
Registration is required and can by done by contacting Andrea Melvin with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey by phone at 405-325-2652, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested also can register via an online form accessible by clicking on the “News” section of the OK-FIRE website.
Applications will be accepted up until six days before each workshop or until space is filled.
Source: Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources