Satellite System Alerts Firefighters To Mayes County Grass Fire - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |


Satellite System Alerts Firefighters To Mayes County Grass Fire

Posted: Updated:
MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A new satellite detection system helped firefighters contain a grass fire in Mayes County Thursday.

The satellite 10,000 miles away spotted the flames between Chouteau and Pryor within minutes of the first report from the ground.

The wind pushed a grass fire across more than 200 acres in Mayes County. Firefighters stopped it even though it jumped over train tracks and across a paved road.

2/15/2018 Related Story: Grass Fire Threatens Structure In Mayes County

“And after it got going, with this wind it really took off,” said Mike Dunham with Mayes County Emergency Management.

Within minutes of the fire starting, a National Weather Service satellite sent out an alert.

“The thermal infrared information we get from satellite gives us instant notification of a fire underway,” said Steve Cobb, National Weather Service Science and Technology Officer.

The weather service has been able to spot plumes of smoke on radar for years. Now, forecasters can see hot spots on the ground from space.

The new system almost instantly sends the location to first responders.

“It's worked like a charm. It's alerted us to the fire and we know it's a big one because it's shooting up on satellite, and we're going to try to get after it,” Dunham said.

On this fire, the satellite notification came in at about the same time as dispatchers relayed a call through 911.

The new fire detection system is one benefit of an improved satellite launched a year ago that's better for everyday weather as well.

“We're looking to make great strides in our detection and forecast,” Cobb said.

Forecasters compare it to a radar indicated tornado warning that's faster but still not quite as good as a first-hand report on the ground.

They believe it's especially valuable for areas where a fire might otherwise go unnoticed until it gets out of hand.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.