As drought conditions continue to worsen across Oklahoma, Governor Mary Fallin has issued an Executive Proclamation banning outdoor burning for much of the state. Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, recommended the ban based upon an analysis of fire activity, wildland fuel conditions and the predicted continued drought as criteria for recommending the ban.
The Governor’s Burn Ban covers 45 counties in western and south-central Oklahoma (see attached map). County Commissioner Burn Bans remain in effect in some counties not covered by the Governor’s proclamation. Extreme fire conditions are increasing with the extraordinary drought. With no significant rainfall predicted, expansion of the number of counties with burning restrictions may be necessary in the future.
“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.”
Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, and setting fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes, as well as igniting fireworks, burning trash or other materials outdoors.
As part of the Governors Burn Ban there are exemptions for a number of items such as welding and road construction. For more specific information and detail visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call Michelle Finch-Walker with the Oklahoma Forestry Services at 580-236-1021.