Multiple counties face 14 day burn ban

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index currently shows central southern Oklahoma in drought conditions, with an index range of 568-706. 

The KBDI values in that range indicate high fire danger due to low moisture and abundance of drying flammable materials. 

Due to these conditions, along with weather conditions known to exacerbate fire dangers, including high heat, wind and little-to-no-precipitation, both Carter and Love Counties Board of Commissioners issued 14 day burn bans Monday morning. 

The Oklahoma Forestry Service’s burn ban map shows two other counties in the state with ongoing burn bans: Jackson County enacted a 14 day ban as of July 23 and Jefferson County joined Carter and Love with a ban beginning Monday, August 6. 

Carter County Emergency Management Director Paul Tucker said the ban was put into effect due to the drought conditions throughout the county. “Area fire departments have responded to quite a few fires from controlled burns getting out of control,” he said. “Putting a ban in place is in the best interest of public safety.” 

Love County Assistant Emergency Management Director David Bond confirmed Love County’s Board of Commissioners did the same at their Monday morning meeting. 

Banned activities include fire pits and open burning. Grilling and other outdoor cooking is permissible in a properly enclosed receptacle over a non flammable surface and at least five feet away from flammable vegetation. Punishment for violating the burn ban could lead to a misdemeanor conviction, which could carry a fine of up to $500, one year imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment. 

For more information about ongoing burn bans around the state, daily situation reports or to view the burn ban resolutions currently in place, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info.