Workshop provides wildland fire managers info about website

Four training workshops are schedule this fall to help wildland fire managers learn how to use the OK-FIRE website. OK-FIRE is a weather-based, decision support system of the Oklahoma Mesonet.

STILLWATER — OK-FIRE is an interactive website that serves as a useful tool for wildland fire managers in Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension is hosting several free workshops this fall to help those involved in wildland fire management learn how to use this tool.

This weather-based decision support system of the Oklahoma Mesonet provides valuable information on fire danger, fire weather and more. With applications to wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke, it is widely used by thousands across the state who work with wildland fire.

J.D. Carlson, OK-FIRE program manager and fire meteorologist in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, will lead the workshops. He said they will take place across the state this fall to help individuals learn more about how the site works and how it can help those involved in wildland fire management.

“The workshops will consist of a combination of presentations and computer lab exercises in which the attendees will get hands-on experience with the OK-FIRE website,” he said. “We’ll cover wildfire, prescribed fire and smoke applications.”

Participants will learn about the available fire weather, fire danger and smoke dispersion products on OK-FIRE and how to use them. In addition, the group will learn how to access their past, current and forecast values via maps, charts and tables. Discussion also will cover how OK-FIRE is useful not only for monitoring current fire danger conditions, but also how its predictive component can be used for suppression strategies on existing fires and assessing fire danger potential over the next three days, which can be helpful in determining staffing levels. The usefulness of OK-FIRE to prescribed burning also will be covered.

Workshops will take place Oct. 3 in El Reno, Oct. 24 in Woodward, Nov. 14 in Durant and Dec. 12 in Stillwater. All workshops will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour break for lunch.

Because space is limited for these free workshops, only those who work directly or indirectly with wildfire and/or prescribed fire should attend. Workshops will be filled on a first-registered, first-served basis. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop computers or tablets. Registration is required and can be done in the News section of the OK-FIRE website at www.mesonet.org/index.php/okfire/news, or by contacting Andrea Melvin with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey by email at andrea@mesonet.org or by phone at (405) 325-2652. Applications will be accepted through the Friday before each workshop or until space is filled, whichever occurs sooner. Information: Carlson by email at jdc@okstate.edu

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