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Oklahoma drought: Governor issues statewide burn ban

The predicted continued drought in Oklahoma is a factor in issuing the ban, the governor's office says.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: August 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm •  Published: August 3, 2012

Outdoor burning has been banned in all 77 Oklahoma counties.

Gov. Mary Fallin issued the statewide burn ban on Friday as drought conditions worsened.

Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the state Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department, recommended the ban based on an analysis of fire activity, wildland fire conditions and the predicted continuing drought.

The governor's statewide ban supersedes all county burn bans in place. The statewide burn ban remains in place until conditions improve and it is removed by the governor.

“Extreme heat and ongoing drought have created conditions very conducive to wildfires,” Fallin said. “A statewide burn ban is now necessary to reduce the risk of preventable wildfires and to protect lives and property.”

Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, fireworks and setting fire to debris or trash, grass, wood or other materials outdoors. The ban allows for gas and charcoal grilling provided it is over a nonflammable surface and at least 5 feet from flammable vegetation.

There are exemptions for some items such as welding and road construction.

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