“OK-FIRE” is a weather-based decision support system which has been developed for wildland fire managers throughout Oklahoma. Applications include both wildfire and prescribed fire. Users include the US Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, fire departments, emergency managers, and private landowners. OK-FIRE products utilize the Oklahoma Mesonet, the state’s automated weather station network, and the National Weather Service’s 84-hour North American Mesoscale (NAM) model.
OK-FIRE has a three-fold emphasis: (1) a comprehensive suite of products for fire weather, fire danger, and smoke dispersion which incorporate an 84-hour predictive component; (2) a dedicated OK-FIRE wildland fire management web site to act as the delivery mechanism for the above products; and (3) regional training and customer support activities for users.
Funding to develop OK-FIRE was initially provided by a four-year federal grant in 2005 (# 05-2-1-81) from the Joint Fire Science Program. Dr. J. D. Carlson (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, OSU, Stillwater) was PI on the grant and Dr. Terry Bidwell (Natural Resource Ecology and Management, OSU, Stillwater), the co-PI. OK-FIRE is now an established program of the Oklahoma Mesonet in Norman, Oklahoma, which provides operational, programming, and web site support.