Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 6, 2012

Governor lifts burn ban here

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A ban on outdoor burning in place for more than two months now has been lifted for nearly three dozen Oklahoma counties with Garvin County being one of them.

On Thursday it was announced Gov. Mary Fallin had signed an executive proclamation lifting the ban for 33 Oklahoma counties effective immediately.

For areas like Garvin County the ban in place since late July may be gone for now, but those planning on doing any burn related activities outside are urged to use extra caution.

“As of right now we don’t have one,” said Bud Ramming, Garvin County emergency management director.

“We don’t have a burn ban here in Garvin County.”

Ramming added there was no additional county burn ban in place to back up the governor declared ban.

The only measure still in place is a county burn ban in effect for Cimarron County in the Oklahoma panhandle.

Ramming stresses the fire danger is still high out there despite the lifting of the ban here.

“We’ve had a number of farmers contact us about getting their agricultural burnings done. I’m hoping they can get that done over the weekend,” he said.

“We’ll see how it goes this weekend. If everybody uses common sense and keep the fires to a minimum then we’ll probably continue to keep from having a burn ban.

“We’ll monitor the drought conditions, any moisture coming in and the fire danger levels.”

Anyone planning to conduct a large controlled burn are asked to first contact their local fire department before starting.

At one point this past summer all 77 counties in Oklahoma were under a statewide burn ban authorized by the governor. Since that time various portions of the state have seen the ban lifted.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Even with ban lifted for now, all Oklahomans are encouraged to remain cautious with campfires, debris burning, outdoor cooking, welding and other activities that include an open flame.

The call for extra caution comes from the fact it’s still dry out there and the fire danger is still high here in Garvin County.

“On the eastern side of the county we’re still in a severe drought condition. On the western side we’re in an extreme drought,” Ramming said.

“But with the rain we’ve received it’s greening up out there a little bit,” he said. “We’re in good shape for a little while, but we’re still in a drought and still looking at a fire danger out there.

“We’re not in the worst drought conditions but we’re still not that far away.”