Fire danger increases significantly, Oklahoma government officials say
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Published: 16-Mar-2011
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published 16-Mar-2011
 
Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) is alerting the public of the potential for large fires west of I-35 Wednesday afternoon (March 16) and Thursday (March 17).
 
In a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, George Geissler, state forester, said, “The conditions predicted for Thursday have the potential for extreme wildfire behavior. We are urging people not do any burning on Wednesday or Thursday. This would include open campfires, debris burning or any other outdoor activity that could spark a wildfire.”
 
In other news, at their regular weekly meeting this morning the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the outdoor burn ban in Oklahoma County until April 13. Outdoor burning has been prohibited in Oklahoma County since February 16.
 
The county burn ban makes it unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wild lands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop, or other wild land fire. It does not prohibit use of charcoal, gas, or other approved outdoor cooking appliances.
 
Enforcement of the burn ban may be carried out by any law enforcement officer of this State. Any person convicted of violating this resolution shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), to imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or to both.
 
Weather forecasts call for 20-30 mph sustained winds on Wednesday afternoon in advance of a dry line that will move across the state Thursday, bringing higher temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds.
 
In advance of the weather event, OFS is coordinating state and federal wildland fire resources for response if necessary, as well as communicating with Oklahoma Emergency Management and fire departments across the state about the predicted high fire danger. OFS Wildland Task Forces and firefighting personnel are also prepared for mobilization.
 
For the latest Oklahoma “Daily Wildfire Situation Report” visit www.forestry.ok.gov and click the link on the homepage. The report contains information about recent fire activity, predicted fire weather and a link for current burn bans.

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