With the statewide burn ban in effect for a month, the governor announced exemptions Monday for landowners with unusual circumstances or who need a controlled burn for agricultural purposes.
Written approval is necessary from the state forester, Gov. Mary Fallin said. Landowners must apply for the exemptions to the Oklahoma Forestry Services. For more information and the appropriate forms, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information, or call (580) 236-1021.
Existing exemptions, including those related to grilling, road construction, welding and oil-field operations, remain in place.
The statewide burn ban, announced Aug. 3, remains in effect.
“I understand the length of this burn ban has made it difficult for some, particularly our agriculture producers,” Fallin said. “Therefore, exemptions are being added to allow for the use of fire under very specific, controlled conditions.”
Under the amended burn ban, the additional exemptions added are:
• Extreme hardship: Upon written approval of the state forester, individuals may be approved to conduct controlled burns on their property because of extreme hardship caused by unusual or extenuating circumstances while their county is under the governor's ban on outdoor burning. No exemptions will be granted for campfires, normal burning of brush piles, accumulation of leaves in yards or brush piles in yards, or household trash. Each situation will be evaluated for need and may be granted in those cases where there are no other alternatives available.
• Agricultural burning: Upon written approval of their local fire chief, and submitting the completed form to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, individuals may conduct controlled burning necessary for agriculture production. The burn must be part of the actual agriculture management operations and conducted within specific minimum guidelines.
State Forester George Geissler said conditions are being reviewed daily.
“Though there have been slight improvements in pockets of the state, the extreme drought conditions persist and any fire that starts has the potential to burn very intensely,” he said.