Outdoor burning is banned in most of the state under an executive order issued Thursday by Gov. Mary Fallin.
The burn ban covers 45 counties in western and south central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma County, as drought conditions continue to worsen across the state.
Burn bans issued by county commissioners remain in effect in counties not covered by the governor's proclamation.
Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires; bonfires; setting fire to any forest, grass, woods, wild lands or marshes;
Exemptions include welding and road construction activities.
Violators can face a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.
Fire conditions worsen
“The number of wildfires we have had over the last few months is extremely tough on our state firefighters,” Fallin said. “It's a drain on their resources as well as a physical drain. Anything that can be done to minimize fires will help to keep both our firefighters and the public safe. I'm asking all Oklahomans to be vigilant and to do their part in preventing fires.”
Counties in the governor's burn ban are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cimarron, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Love, Major, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
Extreme fire conditions are increasing as dry, hot conditions continue in the state, according to the governor's press office. With no significant rainfall predicted, more counties may be added to the burn ban.
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the state Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department, recommended the ban, partially based on an analysis of fire activity and predictions that the drought in most of the state will continue.