Caddo County latest in Oklahoma to issue burn ban

Associated Press Published: July 21, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Caddo County has become the latest Oklahoma county to issue a burn ban as the state faces continuing hot and dry conditions that have led state forestry officials to warn of possible wildfires.

Caddo County is the 31st of the state's 77 counties to ban outdoor burning. The bans are largely in the northeastern part of the state — although five counties in northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle and three in southeastern Oklahoma also have declared bans.

Caddo County notified the Oklahoma Forestry Services of its ban Friday.

"To reduce the risk of sparking a wildfire, we want to encourage the public to use good judgment and to avoid situations that can cause fire, even in areas not covered under a burn ban," State Forester George Geissler said. "Until we receive significant rainfall, this situation can be expected to continue."

A 140-acre fire was put out after being sparked by lightning on Thursday, the Forestry Service said. No injuries were reported.

The service said conditions will be ripe for fire on Saturday and will worsen Sunday, especially in the western half of the state where temperatures are expected to be 100 degrees and above with sustained winds of 5-15 mph and gust up to 25 mph.

The Forestry Service also issued an advisory to firefighters that any fires will burn intensely and could spread rapidly because of the dry conditions and winds.

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