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Oklahoma City, Edmond fire departments issue burn ban

Outdoor fires in Oklahoma City are prohibited until fire danger improves.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: January 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm •  Published: January 21, 2014

The Edmond and Oklahoma City fire departments have issued indefinite burn bans.

Lack of rain and high winds have contributed to a high fire danger in recent days. The Oklahoma City ban will be in effect until the city gets more moisture and the situation improves, District Chief Marc Woodard said.

Woodard said the department has battled more than 50 grass fires in the past week, and hazardous conditions will continue this week.

Most of the fires have been started by people throwing cigarette butts in the grass or burning trash in the high winds, he said.

“People need to be smart,” Woodard said. “Be very careful any time you're dealing with fire and it's dry and windy outside.”

Outdoor cooking on gas grills, charcoal grills and in smokers with no exposed flame is exempted from the ban, but any other kind of outdoor burning is prohibited.

Fine up to $1,200

Open burning without a permit in Oklahoma City during a burn ban can result in a fine ranging from $177 to $1,200.

Oklahoma City and Edmond join 11 counties in instituting a burn ban as dry conditions and high winds continue across the state.

Blaine, Canadian, Cotton, Grady, Jefferson, Latimer, McIntosh, Payne, Pittsburg, Stephens and Tillman counties have issued burn bans for varying amounts of time.

The National Weather Service expects the dry weather to continue throughout the week in Oklahoma City and high winds to continue to blow Wednesday and Thursday.