MCALESTER, Okla. - A rash of recent fires prompted county commissioners on Monday to pass a week long burn ban for Pittsburg County.
McAlester/Pittsburg County Emergency Management Director Trent Myers told 2NEWS area fire department chiefs voted in favor of the ban which was then presented for commissioner approval during the regular Monday meeting.
"In the long range forecast, we are not seeing rain," he said, saying in the last week-and-a-half, area fire departments had fought numerous grass fires which altogether burned roughly 70 acres. "We are just trying to prevent any more property damage."
He said the area is far behind in its rainfall levels making for very dry conditions.
"Even if we had two inches of rain today, we would be back where we are in two days."
Under the ban the use of charcoal is not be permitted, nor are trash fires, campfires or burn-pit fires.
Any outdoor grilling will only be allowed with the use of propane and the grill must be surrounded by a minimum of 10 feet in diameter of hard, non-flammable surface. The same is true for the use of welders and cutting torches.