Although spring has had a wet start in much of Oklahoma, fire season is only a few warm, windy and dry days away.
Oklahoma City will host a series of three free meetings this month, called “Targeting Wildland Fires,” to help residents learn how to protect their properties from wildfires.
More than 1,000 wildfires and grass fires burned in Oklahoma City last year, including a fire in the northeast part of the community that took days to put out.
“We had the combination of the hottest and driest summer since the 1930s,” Oklahoma City fire Battalion Chief Tim Adams said. “That led to wildfire conditions like we hadn't seen in our recent history.”
The meetings will focus on simple ways people can minimize the risk that a wildfire might spread to their property.
“If you look at your home like a target, and the house is the bull's-eye, how do you protect the bull's-eye?” Adams said.
Residents will learn things like how to prevent burning embers from entering the house through openings.
Oklahoma City is pretty green thanks to plenty of rain in March, but it remains to be seen what the rest of the spring and summer will bring. Weather officials warn that a string of hot, dry days can increase the risk of wildfires significantly.
Oklahoma City and the surrounding area pose distinct challenges when it comes to wildfires.
“The wildland-urban interface we deal with across Oklahoma City, across 621 square miles, is huge,” Adams said. “We have urban sprawl terribly, and we have neighborhoods that pop up right in the middle of two or three square miles of farm land.”