With the forecast calling for higher temperatures this weekend, there is an increased risk in fire danger.

According to the Fire Situation Report for Jan. 17, there is no critical fire weather expected, but fuel moisture will support the potential for increased initial attack activity with an emphasis in southwest Oklahoma.

Sunday will bring the best opportunity for wetting precipitation over eastern Oklahoma along with some opportunity for mixed precipitation in the northwestern counties.

“As it warms up there is always increased chance in fire danger because people are more likely to get out and burn,” Paul Simpson, Central Oklahoma Economic Development District Region Five Rural Fire Coordinator, said. “Also, when the wind blows the grass burns.”

Currently Pottawatomie County is not under a burn ban. The nine counties that are under a burn ban as of Wednesday are Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Major, Alfalfa, Grant and Jefferson.

In 2010, Governor Brad Henry approved House Bill 3210, which modified the Oklahoma Forestry Services Code to empower Boards of County Commissioners to ban outdoor burning for up to a 30-day period.

Prior to passage of a burn-ban resolution, the Pottawatomie CountyBoard of County Commissioners must declare the existence of extreme fire danger. As defined in the law, extreme fire danger means:

1. Severe, extreme, or exceptional drought conditions exist within the county as determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

2. No more than one-half (1/2) inch of precipitation is forecast for the next three (3) days by the National Weather Service.

3. 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.

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

For more information visit. http://www.forestry.ok.gov.