OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Forty-five Oklahoma counties are under an outdoor burning ban issued by the Governor.
Mary Fallin issued an executive proclamation Thursday after getting a recommendation from the state Forestry Services.
The agency pushed for the ban because of continuing drought conditions over the western portion of Oklahoma.
The burn ban covers 45 counties in western and south-central Oklahoma. They are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cimarron, Cleveland,Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Love, Major, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods, and Woodward.
"The number of wildfires we have had over the last few months is extremely tough on our state firefighters," Fallin said.
"It's a drain on their resources as well as a physical drain. Anything that can be done to minimize fires will help to keep both our firefighters and the public safe. I'm asking all Oklahomans to be vigilant and to do their part in preventing fires."
The governor's office says with no significant rainfall predicted, expansion of the number of counties with burning restrictions may be necessary.
As part of the Governors Burn Ban there are exemptions for a number of items such as welding and road construction.
If prosecuted, failure to obey a burn ban can result in a fee of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison.
The governor is also asking Oklahomans to pray for rain this Sunday, July 17, 2011, in light of the ongoing drought.
"I encourage Oklahomans of all faiths to join me this Sunday in offering their prayers for rain," Fallin said. "For the safety of our firefighters and our communities and the well-being of our crops and livestock, this state needs the current drought to come to an end.
"The power of prayer is a wonderful thing, and I would ask every Oklahoman to look to a greater power this weekend and ask for rain," she added.
Some parts of Oklahoma are currently experiencing the worst drought since the Dust Bowl.