Up until recently, the relative merits of measured soil moisture and KBDI as indicators of wildfire danger have been largely unknown. This presentation will specifically address this knowledge gap by comparing the utility of measured soil moisture versus KBDI for wildfire preparedness. The three major objectives of our research were: (1) to identify relationships of KBDI and FAW (fraction of available water capacity), an index calculated from in-situ measured soil moisture, with 34,939 growing and dormant-season wildfires; (2) to compare relationships between each of the two indices and wildfire probability for 501 large (≥ 1000 acres) growing-season and dormant-season wildfires; and (3) to quantify relationships between KBDI and FAW for each season in Oklahoma. Neither KBDI nor FAW accurately represented dormant-season wildfire danger, with wildfires ≥ 300 acres occurring across nearly the entire range of each variable. During the growing season, however, we found that a smaller percentage of wildfires ≥ 300 acres occurred under extreme levels of KBDI than under equivalent levels of FAW (66% vs. 81%), and a logistic regression model based on FAW correctly classified more growing-season days with large wildfires than the KBDI model (84% vs 79%). Furthermore, while FAW represented soil moisture in near real-time, KBDI responded more slowly to soil drying and recharge, with the result that FAW provided about 10 days earlier warning of extreme wildfire potential for the 10 largest growing-season wildfires in our study. After discussion of the research results, a daily operational product will be presented that was developed out of this research and is currently on the OK-FIRE wildland fire management system of the Oklahoma Mesonet. In summary, our research shows the importance of in-situ measured soil moisture and argues for the replacement of KBDI with FAW in growing-season wildfire danger assessments for regions having available soil moisture measurements and having similar climate and vegetation to that of Oklahoma.