What You Should Know About Burn Bans

Saturday, December 29th 2007, 4:42 pm
By: News On 6

In Oklahoma we can go from drought to flood in a matter of hours, and when hot, dry, windy conditions settle into the state the danger of wildfires increase. Even a small spark can turn into a massive wildfire.  To lessen that threat, the governor or your county commissioner will issue a burn ban.

Under a burn ban Oklahomans in designated counties are not allowed to burn anything that can spark a wildfire. All outdoor burning is illegal including burning trash, starting a campfire or grilling with charcoal, wood or any grill that could have exposed embers.

Anyone caught burning during a ban faces up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. If you see a fire or hazardous condition, please report them by contacting your local fire department or the Oklahoma Forestry Service, (405) 522-6158.

If a wildfire sparks, there are things you can do to help prevent it from spreading.

  • Keep Grass Around Your Home Cut Short
  • Keep Dried Leaves Or Cut Grass Around Your Home Picked Up
  • Check Your Home's Gutters For Dried Debris
  • Trim Dead Branches From Trees
  • Keep All Matches, Lighters Or Fireworks Away From Kids

To keep you, your family and your home safe from grassfires:

  • Teach Your Children About Fire Safety
  • Plan Several Escape Routes From Your Home And Property
  • Post Fire Emergency Telephone Numbers
  • Talk With Your Neighbors About Wildfire Safety
  • Be Aware Of Hazardous Weather And Fuel Conditions That Could Cause A Wildfire

For a current list of burn bans and burn ban guidelines in Oklahoma visit the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.