OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Extreme drought conditions have prompted Governor Brad Henry to issue a burn ban for five counties in southeast Oklahoma.
The ban is for Choctaw, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties.
Henry says that since August, firefighters in southeastern Oklahoma have battled wildfires that have burned more than 2,700 acres in heavy timberland.
He says the burn ban is necessary to help ensure public safety and protect area lands.
The declaration will remain in effect for as long as conditions warrant.
Gas and charcoal grilling are excluded from the ban.
Those violating the ban could be subject to misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one year of imprisonment.