The Moore American

February 15, 2012

OK-FIRE workshop is coming

American Staff
The Moore American

MOORE — A full-day OK-FIRE computer training workshop will be March 16 at the National Weather Center in Norman.

Dr. J.D. Carlson, OSU fire meteorologist and OK-FIRE program director, will direct the workshop. Training will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., with a break for lunch at the National Weather Center.

“Landowners, fire and forestry professionals and anyone interested in utilizing controlled burns would benefit from this hands-on training,” said Heath Herje, Cleveland County OSU extension educator.

The workshop will consist of a combination of presentations and computer exercises in which attendees will obtain hands-on experience by using the website.

In addition to covering the major sections of the website, other portions of the training will include fire detection via satellite and radar, the relationship of drought to fire danger and burn bans.

OK-FIRE is a program of the Oklahoma Mesonet for wildland fire management. OK-FIRE uses the Oklahoma Mesonet for current conditions and an 84-hour forecast to predict weather, fire danger and smoke dispersion conditions.

OK-FIRE is useful for monitoring not only current fire danger conditions, but for suppression strategies on assessing fire-danger potential. With respect to prescribed fire, attendees will learn how to use the system to safely plan for and monitor conditions during a prescribed burn.

“Prescribed fire is becoming more and more important for landowners to consider utilizing as a tool to improve grazing, wildlife habitat and reduce heavy, overgrown fuels, which may lead to wildfires,” Herje said. “Many wildfires can be attributed to years of fire suppression and heavy fuel buildup of brush and grass species. The omission of fire as a tool to reduce heavy fuels has created catastrophic events, which may occur under the right environmental conditions.”

Registration to attend the OK-FIRE workshop must be submitted by March 9 and can be completed by calling Melissa Moore at 744-8427 or emailing her at melissa.s.moore@okstate.edu. Individuals are asked to provide name, affiliation, email address and phone number.

Since space is limited, early registration is encouraged. There is no cost for the workshop. Registrants should, if possible, bring their own notebook computers with wireless connectivity. If that is not possible, notebook computers will be available on site.