OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Mary Fallin issued a burn ban Friday for all of Oklahoma's 77 counties.
"Extreme heat and ongoing drought have created conditions very conducive to wildfires," Fallin said. "A statewide burn ban is now necessary to reduce the risk of preventable wildfires and to protect lives and property."
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, recommended the ban on all outdoor burning based upon an analysis of fire activity, wild land fuel conditions and the predicted continued drought.
Effective immediately, the burn ban supersedes all county burn bans currently in place and remains in place until conditions improve and it is removed by the governor.
"Moving forward, we need the public to be extremely vigilant," Fallin said. "Lit cigarettes, flat tires and cars parked in dry grass can quickly become dangerous. Everyone must do their part to help prevent fires and to keep our families and businesses safe from harm."
State Forester George Geissler said reports of fire activity across the state are increasing and Oklahomans should report any fire they see immediately.
"Any fire that starts has the potential to burn very intensely and be difficult to extinguish," Geissler said. "It is critical that anyone who sees a fire report it to the nearest fire department as soon as possible."
Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, fireworks and setting fire to debris or trash, grass, woods or other materials outdoors. The ban allows for gas and charcoal grilling provided that it is over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation and there are exemptions for a number of items such as welding and road construction.
For a complete list of activities allowed and prohibited view the guidelines for the Governor's Burn Ban on www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information or call Oklahoma Forestry Services at 580-236-1021.
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This was the third tornado James Attaway, 77, had experienced in Moore. He was in Moore 14 years ago, when the storms hit the same area May 3, 1999.