Due to significant rainfall that moved across the state, Governor Mary Fallin today signed an executive proclamation removing a burn ban she ordered for 53 counties. The governor issued the burn ban on Friday because of extreme dry and weather conditions; rains moved across the state Monday and Tuesday.
The governor removed the ban at the recommendation of Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS), which conducted an analysis of the impact of the rainfall in the affected counties. The removal of the governor’s burn ban has no effect on county burn bans that were in place. OFS is contacting those counties to confirm which bans will remain or be rescinded.
“Individual counties can utilize more localized data, conditions and fire occurrence to decide if burn bans are called for on a county level,” said Fallin.
In the counties no longer covered by the governor-proclaimed burn ban, citizens are urged to check with local officials or visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information to see if county burn bans have been enacted before doing any type of burning.
“The rainfall had a positive impact on the larger forest fuels such as branches and fallen trees, but our light grassy fuels will dry out quickly and will still carry fire,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma state forester. “We are still in our winter fire season, and in the absence of spring green-up we could find ourselves right back in high fire danger within a week or so. The rain just gave firefighters a break from the extreme fire behavior that necessitated the burn ban.”
OFS, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, asks residents to report any suspicious smoke or fire to the nearest fire department immediately.
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.