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Why Lawton is Not Under a Burn Ban


We haven’t had significant rain.  If you just look angrily at a blade of grass, it might flare up.  We constantly pray for moisture — but we’re not under a burn ban?!

Well, there are rules for everything in Government, and the rules to institute a burn ban are pretty specific.  You have to meet several criteria to issue a burn ban and we’re just not there yet.  But, my gut and your common sense tell us we will be.

Before we roll through the list of qualifications for a burn ban — can we all just agree to be really, really careful even if the government hasn’t asked us to just yet??

Before we can officially declare a burn ban in Comanche County, here are the qualifications that have to be met.  This is from the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 2, Chapter 1, Forest Fire Prevention, Article 16 – Oklahoma Forestry Code, Section 6.26 (I didn’t make that up, I promise):

B. 1. It is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire in any county of this state in which the board of county commissioners of the county has passed a resolution declaring a period of extreme fire danger. As used in this subsection, “extreme fire danger” means:

a. severe, extreme, or exceptional drought conditions exist as determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pursuant to its criteria,

b. no more than one-half (1/2) inch of precipitation is forecast for the next three (3) days, and

c. either of the following:

(1) fire occurrence is significantly greater than normal for the season and/or initial attack on a significant number of wildland fires has been unsuccessful due to extreme fire behavior, or

(2) where data is available, more than twenty percent (20%) of the wildfires in the county have been caused by escaped debris or controlled burning.

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