Gov. Brad Henry reinstated a limited burn ban in most of Oklahoma on Monday, pointing to a series of weekend fires and worsening weather conditions.

The new ban will apply in all but 10 southeastern Oklahoma counties that have received the most rainfall in recent weeks. It will not, however, prohibit charcoal grilling in any of the state's 77 counties, as the previous ban did. Gas grilling also will continue to be permitted in all counties.

On the advice of experts at the state Department of Agriculture, Henry lifted the ban a week ago after rain and snow storms moved through the state. He announced a modified ban after meeting Monday with state agriculture, forestry and emergency management officials.

“With the unseasonably warm weather and high winds that are forecast, we want to err on the side of caution,” Henry said. “Although the agriculture department experts believe Oklahoma had received enough precipitation to remove the ban last week, we think it would be in everyone's best interest to reinstate a limited ban until we can be sure that the worst danger has passed.”

He said reinstituting the ban will cause a hardship on farmers and ranchers “but in these weather conditions, a ban is necessary to protect lives and property.”

The 10 counties exempted from the new burn ban are Pittsburg, Latimer, Leflore, McCurtain, Choctaw, Pushmataha, Bryan, Atoka, Coal and Marshall.

Violations of the ban are misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one year in jail.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you