Twenty days into the new year most of Southwest and Western Oklahoma remain locked in burn ban status. Conditions are so dry and windy, oddly specific activities that could potentially become a wildfire are included in the most recent county release, including road work and backyard cold-weather fun stuff.

It's not exactly a shock. We started 2022 in the bounds of a burn ban. Comanche County released the directive on December 30th. When the two-week period of ban was completed, it was extended another two weeks because, as you and I both know, there hasn't been hardly any moisture to go around in nature.

While 2021 got off to a rather wet start, things really dried up by the time September rolled around. In fact, a bulk of our state recorded zero amounts of precipitation in the whole month of November. Fall lingered all the way to that amazing 80° Christmas, and winter arrived on insanely high winds for the new year. Still, dry as a bone across Oklahoma.

In the official news release, it looks like a typical standard burn ban. I'll admit that covering this type of news isn't my jam, so for all I know it's totally normal, but an overall ban on burning wasn't enough to lay the full weight of the consequences in the text, the county took it to individual activity specifics.

While it mentions things like road construction and the welding industry, it doesn't outright ban progress from happening, it merely puts conditions and best practices to the forefront. It also details campfires and outdoor grilling.

This is the best time of year to finally enjoy that fire pit in the backyard. I like to cook on mine, it's a wood pit and flame-broiled meats are amazing. While I'd love to catch a technicality on it being a "grill," it's not. If the unthinkable did happen, it wouldn't hold up.

You might read all of that and think "Well, that's just common sense. Why are our officials wasting time and money explaining the obvious?"

If two years of Covid-19 has taught us anything, we've learned most people would either hide or not give a second thought to their own zombie bites. People are dumb, that's why the government has to spell it out.

Things are looking good though, the backyard smores season isn't over just yet.

While there isn't much in terms of rain chances now through the end of the month, those projections elevate into February. Still, that's a long way off. The tenth day of a Southwest Oklahoma forecast might as well be the hundredth.

We're still due one real last-at-least-one-day snow in SWOK, it might make it here. Preferably sooner rather than later. Looking at which counties are part of the current burn ban, we sure could use any manner of moisture Mother Nature could send this way.

If you're hauling a trailer, tie up those safety chains. Watch the metal to ______ contact. Don't park in high grasses. Don't sit idle over combustibles. Don't toss cigarettes out the window. Don't blow up tannerite. Watch your sanding, grinding, welding, fabricating, etc... You do not want to be the idiot that sets the country on fire.

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