Firefighters Offer Safety Tips as Burn Bans in Several Oklahoma Counties Continue

News 9 - October 12, 2022 6:42 am

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More than half of the counties in Oklahoma are under a burn ban.

Right now, 46 counties are under a burn ban in our state. Oklahoma has had a record-breaking year for wildfires, ranking 4th in the nation for acres burned.

“There are a lot of things that can cause a fire in this environment,” said Brady Bond the Fire Chief for the Garber Fire Department.

Dry conditions with no end in sight have firefighters around Oklahoma on high alert.

“If you live in a rural area, I think it’s important to keep the grass mowed down around your house to limit that risk. If you do have a lot of brush, it is important to keep that knocked down,” he said.

The conditions leave the potential for one spark to cause acres of damage.

“In our area especially with the drought we respond to a lot of grass fires. Now with the winter months coming on and people with their heating sources we might see an uptick in structure fires but by far it has been grass fires for us,” said bond.

He is a Fire Chief in Garfield County, one of the few counties in the state not currently under a burn ban.

“There’s no set criteria in my mind just seeing how it goes, how long this drought continues, seeing the vegetation that is available. We’re a little different than the further west you go, we have a lot of crop grounds that will break up some of the wildfires,” said Bond.

The Fire Chief is asking people to think twice before lighting a bonfire or controlled burn of any kind and to always make sure your smoke alarm is working.

“Be smart if you see something call 911. We would much rather get out there and it be a control burn rather than letting it burn for 10 minutes before getting called out,” he said.

The Oklahoma Forestry Service is constantly keeping track of counties under a burn ban. People can find that information online.

 

 

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