Fire danger threat increasing
Though Oklahoma has enjoyed relief from last summer’s blistering triple digit temperatures, Oklahoma Forestry Services, a Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, wants the public to be aware fire danger is increasing across the state. Oklahoma was experiencing flooding rains just a over a month ago but current data shows that the picture is changing.
“Fuels such as grasses, downed tree limbs and debris from the recent tornadoes are definitely drying out. We are starting to see wildfire activity increase,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma state forester. “We are just reminding Oklahomans to be careful with outdoor activities that could spark a fire.”
A county burn ban was recently issued by Cotton County. This is the first burn ban for 2013. County burn bans are enacted by county commissioners when conditions meet the following criteria:
Drought rated moderate or higher as determined by NOAA;
No more than one-half inch of precipitation is forecast by the National Weather Service;
Fire occurrence is significantly greater than normal for the season or initial attack on a significant number of wildland fires has been unsuccessful due to extreme fire behavior;
More than 20 percent of the wildfires in the county have been caused by escaped debris burns or controlled burns.
For the latest fire information and current conditions visit www.forestry.ok.gov.