Pottawatomie County prepares for dry season, potential fire danger

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

As the weather gets colder and the air gets dryer, residents of Pottawatomie County are advised to think responsibly and remain safe from potential wildfire dangers.

According to Pott. County Emergency Manager Chad Larman, as of Jan. 6, the county is in a Severe Drought, with the western one-third of Oklahoma in an Extreme Drought.

Larman said there isn't currently a burn ban issued for Pott. County. There are certain criteria needed for a burn ban, but Larman said the county doesn't meet that criteria at this moment.

He advises everyone to be prepared for potential grass fire dangers during this dry season.

"Always have a plan and go kit in place in case you have to evacuate for a wildfire," Larman said.

Area firefighters battle a grass fire in this News-Star file photo. With peak conditions this time of year, emergency managers are reminding residents about being prepared for wildfires.

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In addition, he explained everyone should be sure they have a way to receive evacuation orders.

He said a way to receive information is to sign up for Pottawatomie County Emergency Notifications by going to www.pottawatomiecountyok.com and click on the CodeRed banner.

"If you have to evacuate, follow the instructions from local authorities," Larman said. "They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures."

Grass fire

The emergency manager also encourages residents to make plans with friends or family to shelter with them in the case of a fire so that they are safer and more comfortable.

There also are some preventive measures residents can do to help around their homes.

"Create a fire resistant zone around your home that is free of leaves, debris or flammable materials, at least 30 feet around your home," he said.

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For more information visit www.forestry.ok.gov, call the Pottawatomie County Emergency Management office at 405-878-2332, or get in contact with local fire departments.