US Forest Service Manages Wildfire Near Broken Bow Lake
Incident: Rough Branch Wildfire
HOT SPRINGS Ark. — Forest Service officials are currently managing a fire located in the area of Rough Branch approximately eight miles northeast of Hochatown Okla. The fire which began with a lightning strike on Sep. 1 is located in an area difficult for firefighting personnel to reach by vehicle or on foot.
The fire is currently being managed with less than full suppression a strategy often used when access is difficult and safety of firefighters is at risk. With full suppression immediate action is undertaken to control wildfires as quickly as possible particularly when human improvements such as homes outbuildings and other structures are imminently threatened.
When less than full suppression tactics are employed wildfires burn to existing barriers such as roads or creeks resulting in less damage to natural resources. Additionally areas such as Rough Branch which pose hazards to firefighters are often difficult to prescribe burn but a naturally ignited blaze can accomplish objectives that forest managers seek. These objectives include reducing fuels on the forest floor and improving wildlife habitat.
“Rough terrain high temperatures high humidity and limited access make it dangerous for firefighters ” said Kris Wilson Assistant District Fire Management Officer.
The fire is located in a remote location and away from private lands or structures according to Wilson. He estimates the fire could burn 200 to 1 000 acres over the next 5-7 days.
“If it burns to 1 000 acres it will reach our previously established containment lines or barriers ” Wilson said. “The fire will be accessible to firefighters at that point. In the meantime we are monitoring the fire and associated environmental effects.”
For more information log on to fs.usda.gov/ouachita.