Burn ban to be lifted in more Oklahoma counties next week

Oklahoma's burn ban in 28 counties will be cut in half next week. Fourteen counties in the Panhandle and in the extreme southwest and southeast corners of the state, will remain under the burn ban after the change takes effect Tuesday.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: October 15, 2011
Advertisement
;

The state's burn ban in 28 counties will be cut in half next week.

Significant rains the past week over most of the state is the reason for removing 14 counties from the ban, Gov. Mary Fallin said.

The burn ban will remain in effect in the Panhandle and in the extreme southwest and southeast corners of the state.

The change in the burn ban will take effect at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Most county commissioners meet Monday and can assess local conditions and consider independently implementing countywide burn bans at that time.

Fourteen counties will remain under the governor's burn ban: Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Bryan, Choctaw, Cimarron, Coal, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, McCurtain, Pushmataha, Texas, and Tillman.

“Parts of Oklahoma remain under extreme drought conditions and the threat of wildfire remains a concern in those counties,” Fallin said.

Unlawful activities under the ban include open flames, campfires, bonfires and setting fire to trash, grass, woods or other material outdoors. Gas and charcoal grilling is allowed provided that it is over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation.

“With the cooler fall temperatures and more people enjoying time outdoors, there is a greater risk for wildfires by activities such as campfires, even in those counties where they are not banned,” said George Geissler, a state forester.

A number of items are excluded from the governor's burn ban such as welding and road construction.

For a list of all exemptions and the latest county burn ban information, go to www.forestry.ok.gov.