Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Southwest Region, March 31, 2006
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Mike Oldham, 04-04-2006 Deep Fork NWR
Mike Oldham, 04-04-2006 Deep Fork NWR - Photo Credit: n/a
Mike Oldham 04-04-2006 Deep Fork NWR
Mike Oldham 04-04-2006 Deep Fork NWR - Photo Credit: n/a

The Oklahoma/North Texas District and the Deep Fork staff and fire crew assisted the Wilson and Schulter RFD’s on the 2,683 acre “Butternut” fire that started on private land and burned onto the refuge.  At Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, a Wildland Urban Interface(WUI) fuel reduction project proved its value as the area experienced a large wildfire last week.  Fire struck the refuge adjacent to the “Whitehill” and “Budweiser” prescribed burn units.  Both of these units were burned last year (2005) as WUI fuel reduction projects.  Fuels were removed to decrease the risk of a catastrophic wildfire near the communities of Schulter and Okmulgee.  A containment line used on the Whitehill project in 2005 was restored and used as a holding line to stop the wildfire.  The line was an effective point of containment that stopped the spread of fire into an area of multiple homes and structures. 


Deep Fork and Okmulgee County have experienced a record breaking Series of disastrous wildfires since November of 2005.  In November, multiple fires burned throughout the county during a period of strong winds and many homes were lost.  At that time, four homes were destroyed directly adjacent to the refuge.  Thankfully, no homes were lost during the recent “Butternut” fire. 


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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