Burn Ban Lifted in OK as Texas' Stays

3-20-06 - Governor Brad Henry lifted the statewide burn ban in all 77 counties Monday, but he is still urging Oklahomans to be cautious with fires.

The governor said today that significant rainfall during the past few days led experts to recommend lifting the ban on outdoor burning that was first issued in November. More than 2,700 wildfires have burned more 557,000 acres statewide since November 1st.

But in Texas, it is a different story. More than four inches of rain fell in the Sherman area over the past weekend. Grayson County officials say the decision to lift the county’s burn ban three weeks ago was not a wise choice. Consequently several fires broke out across the county, most being brush fires that were out of control.

The Grayson commissioners voted unanimously to keep the ban in effect Monday morning in a meeting. Firefighters advised county officials that it is still not safe to make a change dealing with the burn ban.

The full burn ban includes no burning of brush and no welding. But grilling is allowed and commissioners suggest those grilling keep water nearby as a precaution. The burn ban will be back on the commissioner’s agenda next Monday.

Full burn bans are also in effect for Cooke, Fannin, and Lamar counties.