News

Fall Training Workshops for the New 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 and the old website is being retired the beginning of October.  The new OK-FIRE is more user-friendly but substantially different in terms of layout and content, so training, even for current users, will be important.  OK-FIRE is pleased to announce the first of a series of training workshops on this new system.  They will be held this fall and consist of 6 hours of training (with an hour break for lunch) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Workshops will be led by Dr. J. D. Carlson, OSU fire meteorologist and OK-FIRE program manager, and will consist of a combination of presentations and lab exercises in which attendees will get hands-on experience with the OK-FIRE website. Depending on the facility, attendees may need to bring their own laptop computers or tablets.  Since, in most cases, space is limited for these workshops (typically 15-25), only those who work directly (or indirectly) with wildland fire (wildfire and/or prescribed fire) should attend. Below is a list of the locations and dates for this fall's workshops:


BARTLESVILLEThu, Oct. 12
ANTLERSThu, Oct. 26
WOODWARDThu, Nov. 02
ALTUSThu, Nov. 16
ARDMOREThu, Nov. 30
EL RENOThu, Dec. 13
STILLWATERThu, Dec. 18


Registration is required and can be done by completing the linked form (https://goo.gl/forms/QbbRdOAvL2XqNh6u2) or by 
contacting Andrea Melvin (andrea@mesonet.org405-325-2652) at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Applications will be accepted up until six days before each workshop or until space is filled up, whichever occurs sooner.  There is no cost for the workshops, aside from travel costs to and from the location.  More information about each workshop (including directions) will be sent out 3-5 days before the workshop date.  Workshops will be filled on a first register, first served basis.  Please note again that these workshops are 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.


Dr. J. D. Carlson
OK-FIRE Program Manager
Oklahoma State University
jdc@okstate.edu