We are happy to announce that a new update of OK-FIRE was released on February 3 that provides faster access to output from the fire danger model used in OK-FIRE. As many of you are aware, since we switched to the new fire danger model in June 2020, download times for output from the fire danger model (e.g., Burning Index, 1-hr dead fuel moisture) have been much slower (extremely slow in some cases) than before we switched to the new model. The reason for this is that the data files for the new model have been residing in the "cloud" and not on local servers. Accessing data from the "cloud" turned out to be extremely slow and as a result, processing times for text data, charts, and tables in OK-FIRE was greatly increased (for both past, current, and forecast data). Map animations for fire danger variables may still be slower than before, but developers at Mesonet are working on that issue now.
In this new release we also have fixed the broken link for "Recent Lightning Activity" (left menu item). We now link to an excellent site (weather.us) that shows lightning strikes in Oklahoma in 5-minute intervals over the past hour. Lightning can be a big player in wildfire ignition under certain conditions, so we are happy to make this link finally functional again. Make sure you see the "Auto-Update active" wording above the Time field in the left section of this page; that will ensure that the 5-minute updates will occur.
Now we get to the important part of this article. To make these changes functional on your devices, please CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE AND OFFLINE FILES on each device from which you access OK-FIRE. If you need help in doing this or experience problems after completing these steps, please contact the on-duty Mesonet operator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-325-3231.