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With the few rain showers and thunderstorms that have passed through Southeast Oklahoma, wildfires havenâ€™t became an issue in our area as of yet but Governor Mary Fallin has declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to extreme, or exceptional, drought conditions. The order was signed on Monday, July 30, 2012.
Fallin stated that extreme heat and dry conditions continue to affect the entire state and that her administration would be ready to help provide whatever aid and assistance it can as Oklahoma communities work to cope with this drought.â€ť
The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.
Under the executive order, the state of emergency lasts for 30 days. It can be amended at a later time based on conditions on the ground.
Due to drought, 47 Oklahoma counties have declared countywide burn bans with most of the bans continuing throughout the month of August. Pushmataha, Choctaw, Atoka and McCurtain Counties are not currently under a burn ban but common sense should be applied it wishing to burn or have a fire of any type.
Wildfires are not only breaking out across the country, they have now began to impact Oklahoma. A total of two large wildfires that have consumed over 31,000 acres are still raging by the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, 25 miles north of Lawton, and on Townley Road, five miles northwest of Indiahoma. Both fires are partially contained, one at 65% and the other at 50%, but firefighters are still working diligently to get the situation under control.