Monday, August 22, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Due to recent rainfall in northeastern Oklahoma, Governor Mary Fallin will lift the burn ban in 16 northeast Oklahoma counties. Effective Tuesday, August 23 at 1:00 p.m. the ban will be lifted in Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Kay, Mayes, Muskogee, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington counties. Most Oklahoma county commissioners meet Monday, August 22 and will have a chance to assess local conditions and consider their own countywide burn bans at that time.
“The recent rainfall has not been enough to end the drought, but it did result in some moderation of the fire danger,” said Governor Fallin. “Lifting the ban in this manner will allow the 16 counties to consider the conditions and fire occurrence at a local level and take measures as they see appropriate.”
A Governor’s Burn Ban remains in effect for 61 counties where a very high fire danger exists due to the wildland fuel conditions and fire behavior. In the 16 counties no longer impacted by the Governor’s Burn Ban, citizens should check with local officials or visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information to see if a county burn ban has been enacted.
Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, fireworks and setting fire to trash, grass, woods or other materials outdoors. Gas and charcoal grilling is allowed provided that it is over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation.
“While we have seen temporary improvement in some parts of our state, it is important that all Oklahomans remain aware of the fire danger,” said State Forester George Geissler. “The drought continues and any wildfire which starts will be very difficult to control.”
As part of the Governors Burn Ban there are exemptions for a number of items such as welding and road construction. For more information visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call Michelle Finch-Walker at Oklahoma Forestry Services 580-236-1021.