Governor Mary Fallin today announced that exemptions have been added to the statewide burn ban, although the Governor’s Burn Ban continues to remain in effect. The decision was made in consultation with Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and based on existing wildfire fuel conditions and ongoing drought.
“I understand the length of this burn ban has made it difficult for some, particularly our agriculture producers,” said Fallin. “Therefore, exemptions are being added to allow for the use of fire under very specific, controlled conditions. Existing exemptions, including those related to grilling, road construction, welding and oilfield operations, will remain in place.”
Under the amended burn ban, the additional two exemptions added are:
· Extreme Hardship – Upon written approval of the State Forester, individuals may be approved to conduct controlled burns on their property due to extreme hardship caused by unusual or extenuating circumstances while their county is under the Governor’s Ban on Outdoor Burning. No exemptions will be granted for camp fires, normal burning of brush piles, accumulation of leaves in yards or brush piles in yards, or household trash. Each situation will be evaluated for need and may be granted in those cases where there are no other alternatives available.
· Agricultural Burning – Upon written approval (using Form AG-2012-01) of their local fire chief, and submitting the completed form to Oklahoma Forestry Services, individuals may conduct controlled burning necessary for agriculture production. The burn must be part of the actual agriculture management operations and conducted within specific minimum guidelines.
“Conditions are being reviewed daily,” said State Forester George Geissler. “Though there have been slight improvements in pockets of the state, the extreme drought conditions persist and any fire that starts has the potential to burn very intensely.”
For more specifics related to the exemptions and the appropriate forms, click here. v