Governor Mary Fallin today amended the state burn ban, reducing the number of affected counties from seven to two. Cimarron and Texas counties remain under the burn ban, according to the amended proclamation.
“I’ve been in constant communication with Oklahoma Forestry Services as they continue to analyze the dry conditions and rainfall,” said Fallin. “The recent 6,000-acre fire on Black Mesa just affirms the need for continuing the ban in counties that haven’t received adequate rainfall.”
While the governor has the authority to issue burn bans for multiple counties, county commissioners also issue bans for their individual counties. There are currently no county burn bans in effect, but citizens should always check with local officials or visit here to see if county burn bans are in place before doing any type of burning.
“Cimarron and Texas counties are just lagging behind the rest of the state in greening up,” said Oklahoma Forestry Services Director and State Forester Mark Goeller. “Unfortunately, we are moving into our hot, dry summer so odds of any improvement continue to diminish.”
Unlawful activities under the ban include open flames, campfires, bonfires, 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.
“I commend Oklahomans for heeding these bans and for calling 911 as soon as they see or smell smoke,” Fallin said. “Citizens’ actions have made a difference in the number of fires during this prolonged drought.”
Oklahoma Forestry Services is the state’s lead agency related to wildland fire prevention and protection. For additional information about wildfires, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/wildfire-information.