BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Washington County is no longer under a burn ban, but county officials are asking area residents to remain careful during outdoor burning activities as conditions are still very dry.
The county was one of 22 counties released from a statewide burn ban by Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday.
“We are definitely still in drought. Conditions have improved with rain and there has been some greening up, but we still have dry vegetation and it will burn,” Washington County Fire Department Chief Kary Cox told 2NEWS. “We just need folks to be extremely cautious.”
Cox said even after the county declared a burn ban in early August and the governor followed suit with a state-wide ban, firefighters were still being called to more than one grassfire a week — a number that diminished eventually due to sporadic rainfall and the resulting greening of vegetation.
He said for now he will monitor conditions in the county and evaluate the fire calls on a week by week basis to see if they meet the requirements for declaring a county burn ban .
Meanwhile, while firefighter response to grassfires before and during the burn ban was fast and heavy, to knock out fires before they had a chance to spread, response now will be a little more toned down, said Cox.
“We will still get on fires as quickly as we can and with a little more resources than under normal circumstances.”
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