Wind advisory issued; burns discouraged

The risk of wildfires is expected to be very high today as a dry cold front and gusty winds move across eastern Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.The NWS issued the warning for all of Oklahoma except the Panhandle and McCurtain County, as well as west central Arkansas.Monday's fire risk was limited, but the NWS predicted a "very high fire weather potential" today with northwest winds gusting up to 30 mph.The risk was expected to decrease through the rest of the week as the winds subside to 5-15 mph, the NWS said.Outdoor burning is discouraged. Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, reported several wildfires across the state Sunday and Monday, including some in LeFlore County.“Any fire that starts will spread rapidly so we are urging everyone to delay any outdoor activity that might spark a blaze,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester.Caution should be exercised with outdoor grilling and welding. Many roadside fires are started due to vehicles dragging chains or continuing to drive on a rim after experiencing a flat tire, Gessler said.“We are just asking Oklahomans to remain vigilant as we enter our winter fire season,” said Geissler."Citizens are asked to report any new fires or suspicious smoke to the closest fire department. Safety of the firefighters and public is of the utmost concern and with this weather forecast one of the main threats for firefighters will be rapid spread of any fire start," he said.High temperatures are expected to be in the 50s with lows around freezing the rest of the week.