Lincoln County Emergency Management (LCEM), as required by the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act of 2003, monitors all significant events in the county and reports them to the state. Wildfires impact Lincoln County each year, with some years being more impactful than others. In 2022, hundreds of acres of grass land, woods, and ranch land were scorched. These fires not only impact the land owners, but the fire departments and other personnel that respond to them. Losses in hay and other agriculture lands cost Lincoln County residents big bucks.
While emergency management personnel do not actively fight the fire, they play a critical role in incident management, scene stabilization, and resource management. Our personnel are trained in many areas including drone flight operations, tactical communications, documentation, fireground operations, rehab support, among others.
In an effort to streamline our response and monitoring efforts, and improve overall response times throughout the county, LCEM has adopted the following wildfire response levels (WRL);
Wildfire Response Levels
WRL Blue - Normal operations: This is the normal day-to-day operational level for our program. We will monitor radio traffic, GeoSafe, social media, and other sources of information. Scene response will only be if an incident escalates to involve fire departments from multiple counties, or if requested by incident command.
WRL Green - Enhanced Monitoring: When the burning index is expected to be greater than 35 during the day, LCEM staff will prioritize wildfire monitoring. Weather conditions will be monitored, along with the infrared satellites and other enhanced data gathering systems. Volunteers may be asked to assist with monitoring. Scene response will only be if an incident escalates to involve fire departments from multiple counties, if requested by incident command, or if other complicating factors exist.
WRL Orange - Enhanced Operations: Under WRL Orange, burning index conditions are expected to be greater than 50. LCEM staff will coordinate with 911 dispatch staff to implement the EWAR plan. Scene response will be determined by the initial report of fire activity, proximity to structures, or other complicating factors. Volunteers will be asked to be on alert for potential deployments and to staff the EOC for a partial activation. County Commissioners will be notified of all incidents impacting their districts. The State Emergency Operations Center will be made aware of our enhanced posture for wildland fires in the event intrastate aid is needed, pursuant to the Oklahoma Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact.
WRL Red - Critical Operations: This level will be activated when the county is under Red Flag Warning or other enhanced fire conditions such as a burn ban and activation of a WAR Day for local departments. Scene response will be emergent to all fires at initial dispatch. Volunteers will be requested to staff the Emergency Operations Center to support operations under a partial or full EOC activation. This level will also include enhanced communications with the State Emergency Operations Center for the coordination of task forces and other mutual aid responses.