11 Oklahoma counties under burn ban


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Updated: 7/09/2012 1:34 pm Published: 7/06/2012 11:37 am


Hot, dry summer temperatures lead to burn bans in 11 Oklahoma counties.

The Tulsa County Board of Commissioners issued a burn ban for Tulsa County. The burn is effective immediately.

Along with Tulsa, Adair, Creek, Latimer, LeFlore, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg, and Sequoyah counties have also declared burn bans meant to help keep the threat of dangerous grass fires as low as possible.

One county that has not declared a burn ban is Osage County. On Friday, a 200 acre fire had more than 30 firefighters trying to contain it. The fire threatened several homes, but the flames did not destroy any structures.

One homeowner told FOX23 she felt the county had declared a ban and was disappointed to learn it had, in fact, not taken that step.

"I thought we were on the list," Karen Anderson said, "It's so dry out there."

Rock Fire Department Chief Charley Pearson echoed those sentiments, "We're getting drier every day, and I know we maybe have some rain coming in on Sunday, but still we're getting awful dry."

In Tulsa County, emergency management officials have been surveying area fire departments for the last several days.  On Friday, the results, along with the weather forecast determined conditions are appropriate for a burn ban according to the guidelines for extreme fire dangers set out in state law.

This burn ban allows exceptions for outdoor grilling with electric or gas grills with the stipulation that all outdoor grilling must be done over gravel, concrete, or another non-flammable surface. In addition, all operating grills should be attended by an adult who has direct access to a water hose.

On July 16, 2012, Tulsa County Commissioners will meet to assess the need for an extended burn ban. If significant rain fall occurs in Tulsa County, the ban may be lifted. The penalty for violating this burn ban is misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment for one year.

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