Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to close Dog Run Hollow area and trail system Friday for prescribed burn

February 17, 2023

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will conduct a prescribed burn on Friday, February 17. Recent weather conditions have presented an opportunity for wildland fire staff to conduct a much-needed burn in the Dog Run Hollow burn unit.
For the safety of the public and refuge staff, traffic control will be employed until the project is completed. Refuge visitors and local residents should expect delays Friday, February 17, from Refuge Headquarters south along Indiahoma Road.
The prescribed burn area is closed to the public during fire operations and visitors must not enter areas with fires underway. The Dog Run Hollow area and trail system will be closed until Monday, February 20, 2023. Closed areas will include Dog Run Hollow Trailhead and Trail System, Kite Trail, The Narrows Trail, Boulder Road, French Lake, and Burma Road.

The Refuge will make every attempt to keep closures and delays at a minimum to areas that are not directly impacted by the daily scope of work. Smoke will likely be visible from a great distance during the burn. After completion, residual smoke may persist in the area for a few days.
Prescribed burns are implemented under a strict set of guidelines and weather parameters to provide for public and firefighter safety and to limit potential smoke impacts to residents and visitors in the area. Burns will take place when wind conditions will avoid sending smoke into populated or smoke sensitive areas. If predicted and actual weather conditions do not meet the prescribed plan parameters, the burns will be rescheduled. Several small units have been burned over the last several months in preparation for the Dog Run Hollow prescribed burn.

Prescribed burning is a habitat management tool commonly used on federal, state, and private lands in Oklahoma and across the country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses prescribed burning to restore and revitalize refuge ecosystems, reduce the potential for catastrophic wildfires, and to control invasive plants like Old World Bluestem. Implementation of this plan helps the refuge preserve and maintain natural environmental processes that support a variety of plant communities and promote forage utilization by bison, elk, and deer.

If necessary, further road closure information will be available on the Refuge website at: www.fws.gov/refuge/wichita_mountains, Facebook, or by contacting the Refuge Visitor Center at 580-429-2197.