Oklahoma Forestry Service photo.
Burn ban decisions are made on the county level and specific rules for each ban — and penalties for violating the bans — vary by county. Each is effective for no more than 30 days unless a new resolution is approved. Generally, a burn ban makes it unlawful for a person to set outdoor fires, including controlled burns and campfires. Before passing a burn ban, county governments must declare the existence of extreme fire danger.
Extreme fire danger means:
- Drought conditions exist, as determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
- No more than one-half inch of precipitation is forecast by the National Weather Service for the next three days;
- Fire occurrence is significantly greater than normal for the season, and/or initial attack on a significant number of wildland fires has been unsuccessful because of extreme fire behavior;
- More than 20 percent of the wildfires in the county have been caused by escaped debris burning or controlled burning activities.
The conditions that create burn bans also cause extreme stress to wildlife and birds. It’s important to keep water and shade available for pets, livestock and wildlife on your property.
For more information on ban burns and a list of them by county, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information