Gov. Henry modifies burn ban

Oklahoma City, OK – Citing recent precipitation and the advice of fire experts, Gov. Brad Henry today modified the state’s burn ban, lifting burn prohibitions for all but 25 counties in the panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma.

The governor also issued an additional safety warning, telling Oklahomans not to burn if winds are in excess of 15 miles per hour.

“I am urging all Oklahomans to exercise caution and good common sense when it comes to outdoor burning, particularly when winds are gusty,” said Gov. Henry.

“The snow and rain have reduced the fire threat in many areas, and we want to be sensitive to those counties and individuals who are still trying to dispose of brush and tree limbs left by the December ice storm. However, if conditions worsen and the fire danger increases in the weeks to come, I will not hesitate to expand the burn ban to protect lives and property.”

The governor’s office announced the decision this afternoon after reviewing precipitation totals and other fire data compiled by forestry officials in the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The agency recommended the ban be modified, citing the significant snow and rainfall earlier this week.

The burn ban is lifted for all but the following 25 counties in the panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma: Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Carter, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Garvin, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kiowa, Love, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Stephens, Texas, Tillman and Washita.

Violations of the ban are misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one-year imprisonment.

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