Oklahoma lakes tested for blue-green algae for Labor Day visitors
The U.S. Corps of Engineers is testing Oklahoma lakes for blue-green algae blooms. All test results are posted on a new website. And Smokey Bear is reminding campers the burn ban is still in effect statewide.
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State parks will be busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend:
Herring said the ongoing drought in Oklahoma has lowered lake levels. Skiatook Lake, for example, is 8 feet below normal, he said.
Boaters should watch for obstacles in the water resulting from low lake levels, such as rocks or tree stumps that are exposed.
Campfires and outdoor cooking
The entire state remains under a burn ban enacted Aug. 3 by Gov. Mary Fallin. Outdoor campfires and bonfires are prohibited.
Smokey Bear is making a comeback in posters and advertisements, said Michelle Finch-Walker, Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman. Smokey also provides tips for safe outdoor cooking on the forestry website.
Gas and charcoal grilling are allowed, provided the activity is conducted over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation, Finch-Walker reported.
Pressurized stoves also are allowed.
However, any fire resulting from outdoor cooking is an illegal fire.
“We continue to urge everyone to be really careful with outdoor activities that could spark a blaze,” Finch-Walker said.
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