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.
by Robert Medley Published: August 30, 2012
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“Rain can, in some instances, wash it away — but it can also spread it,” Herring said. “It is hard to tell and it may have to be tested again.”

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.

by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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Holiday information

State parks will be busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend:

All cabins are booked.

Golf courses are open and available for play. Call in advance (866) 602-4653 for tee times or book online at TravelOK.com.

RV and tent campgrounds are open and available. The campgrounds with full hookups for RVs (water, electric and sewer) will fill quickly.

For the updated information on blue-green algae warnings or lake information, go to www.checkmyoklake.com.

Source: Oklahoma State Parks

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