The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 4, 2012

County burn ban is lifted

Staff and wire reports
Enid News and Eagle

— Gov. Mary Fallin has lifted the burn ban for the last 33 counties — including Garfield County — that were part of her original statewide ban issued this past summer.

“With cooler temperatures and higher humidity, we are seeing a lower occurrence of wildfire,” Fallin said. “These factors, combined with recent precipitation across the state, allow the ban to be lifted.”

Oklahomans are encouraged to remain cautious with campfires, debris burning, outdoor cooking, welding and other activities that include an open flame.

“Even with the rains we have received, drought conditions are still plaguing some counties,” said State Forester George Geissler. “Everyone should be weather aware and consider the conditions before they do any activity which could spark a wildfire.

The only burn ban in effect in Oklahoma is a county-issued ban for Cimarron County.

Rain last week helped ease drought conditions over parts of Oklahoma, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.

However, much of northwest Oklahoma remains in exceptional drought, the worst category.

All of Woodward, Woods, Major, Alfalfa and Grant counties are in the exceptional category. All of Garfield County, except the extreme southeast corner is as well.

Blaine and Kingfisher counties are in extreme drought conditions, the second-worst category.

The U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows 28 percent of the state in exceptional drought, down from 42 percent a week ago.

Extreme drought conditions continue in 52 percent of the state, while the remainder of the state is in severe drought.

Residents can 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.