OK-FIRE workshops scheduled
A tool is only good if you know how to use it, which is why training workshops for OK-FIRE will be held across the state through the end of the year.
J.D. Carlson, Oklahoma State University fire meteorologist and director of the OK-FIRE program, will be giving the training sessions to those who register. A weather-based decision-support system for wildland fire managers in Oklahoma, OK-FIRE is a program of the Oklahoma Mesonet, with applications including both wildfire and prescribed fire.
Users include multiple federal and state agencies as well as local fire departments, emergency managers and private landowners. Due to the wildfire outbreaks in the early part of August, the system saw unprecedented use with more than 18,000 unique visitors to the website that month.
"With respect to wildfire, benefits of using OK-FIRE include better anticipation of high fire danger conditions, guidance for optimal staffing levels and tracking existing and forecast weather conditions during the wildfire itself, leading to more effective suppression strategies," Carlson said. "With respect to prescribed fire, OK-FIRE can help in the planning and conducting of prescribed burns, as well as in providing guidance for smoke management."
Workshops are scheduled for Woodward, Weatherford, Bartlesville, Afton, Poteau, Idabel, Ardmore, Antlers and Stillwater. This fall two types of training sessions will be offered: evening and full-day workshops.
Evening training sessions will meet for 2.5 hours and include various presentations on topics related to fire weather, fire danger and smoke management; an overview of the products available on OK-FIRE; and a live demonstration of the OK-FIRE website.
The full-day workshops will include the same topics as well as others, in addition to hands-on computer exercises to become familiar with the website.
For a complete list of locations and dates visit http://okfire.mesonet.org. Registration is free, but required, and can be done by contacting Elaina Wright at email@example.com or 405-744-5425. Registration should include the location, date and workshop in which you are interested.