Even though much of Oklahoma received winter weather the last few days, the Governor's Burn Ban is still in effect for a majority of Oklahoma counties.

Even though much of Oklahoma received winter weather the last few days, the Governor's Burn Ban is still in effect for a majority of Oklahoma counties.

According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services Fire Situation Report for Thursday, no significant fire danger was expected Thursday with weather over the past few days having effectively pushed the pause button on wildfire concerns.

The Forestry Department expects some improvement in fuel moisture values although a thorough analysis will be completed following the warming temperatures into the weekend, the report stated.

The governor’s ban covers 52 counties: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cimarron, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Major, McClain, Murray, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Tulsa, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward.

Hughes County is currently under a County Burn Ban.

On Feb. 15, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a burn ban to include 52 counties because of extreme and extraordinary fire danger.

Conditions had continued to deteriorate since Fallin issued the first burn ban Jan. 30. The governor’s burn ban supersedes any county burn bans, and will remain in place until midnight March 2.

“Drought conditions continue to worsen across the state with no measurable rainfall occurring in the western third of Oklahoma for the past 130 days, and central Oklahoma is approaching 40 days without rain,” said Fallin. “An expanded burn ban is called for to reduce the risk of preventable wildfires and to protect lives and property.”

Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) recommended the ban based upon an ongoing analysis of fire activity, wildland fuel conditions, and the predicted continued drought.

The governor reminds people to be extremely careful with any outdoor activities that might spark a blaze.

“Oklahomans have heeded warnings to take extra caution to prevent wildfires during the burn ban these last two weeks,” Fallin said. “This has had a direct effect on the number of new fire starts.”

Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, and setting fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes, as well as igniting fireworks, burning trash or other materials outdoors.

LPG and natural gas grills and charcoal-fired cooking outside in a grilling receptacle are permitted, provided the activity is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least 5 feet from flammable vegetation, but any fire resulting from grilling or use of one of the cookers or stoves is still considered an illegal fire.

As part of the governor’s burn ban, there are exemptions for many items, such as welding and road construction. For more specific information and details, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-info or call Michelle Finch-Walker with the Oklahoma Forestry Services at (580) 236-1021.