Governor’s Burn Ban Extended to Cover 36 Counties


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN

OKLAHOMA CITY – Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb today extended and expanded aburn ban from 16 counties to include 36 counties in western and centralOklahoma due to extreme and extraordinary fire danger. 

The burn ban will remain in effect indefinitelyfor the following counties: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo,Canadian, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady,Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa,Logan, Major, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Roger Mills, Stephens, Texas,Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.

Lamb, who is acting governor whileGovernor Mary Fallin is in Florida on an economic development-related trip,also signed an executive order easing trucking regulationsdirectly related to fire relief.  The order will ease hay deliveries andhauling in equipment and crews to restore electrical, sewer, water andtelecommunications to the areas affected by wildfires.

Conditions have deteriorated since theburn ban was amended Feb. 23, prompting the expansion. The governor's burnban supersedes existing county burn bans. This list is frequently updated bycounty commissioners and can be viewed anytime on the OFS website at  www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info.

“We have seen unprecedented fireconditions develop over the last week that created the dangerous wildfires thathave burned over 400,000 acres so far,” said Lamb. “An expanded burn ban iscalled for to reduce the risk of preventable wildfires and to protect lives andproperty.”

Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS)recommended the ban based upon an ongoing analysis of fire activity, wildlandfuel conditions, and the predicted continued drought. Lamb said people shouldbe extremely careful with any outdoor activities that might spark a blaze.

“We have worked hard to prepare forthese historically dangerous conditions,” said George Geissler, OFS director.“We are working with our partners within the state as well as bringing intremendous regional and national resources in an effort to keep Oklahomans safe. We currently have an additional 200 firefighters, along with equipment andvehicles, and multiple aircraft.”

Unlawful activities under the baninclude campfires, bonfires, and setting fire to any forest, grass, woods,wildlands or marshes, as well as igniting fireworks, burning trash or othermaterials outdoors. LPG and natural gas grills and charcoal-fired cookingoutside in a grilling receptacle are permitted, provided the activity isconducted over a non-flammable surface and at least 5 feet from flammablevegetation, but any fire resulting from grilling or use of one of the cookersor stoves is still considered an illegal fire.

As part of the governor’s burn ban,there are exemptions for many items, such as welding and road construction. Formore specific information and details, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info or call(405) 586-0404.