Johnston County Commissioners issue 14 day burn ban

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ADA, Okla. (LXII) -- Johnston County Commissioners issued a 14-day burn ban on Monday.

"Just don't burn," Coleman Fire Chief Myron Stanley said.

["We're] taking in account of everything that's going on in our county, how many fires we're having, just the drought conditions, expected rainfall and the lack of rainfall," Johnston County Emergency Management Director Jason Bryant said.

Bryant says it's been years since the county has issued a burn ban.

But after six fires during the weekend, he says they had to do it.

"With the winds and the dry conditions and the fuel load that we have right now, it makes it really hard to get a handle on them," Bryant said.

Fire Chief Stanley says most volunteer departments are understaffed.

"It's real hard because the people are at work a lot of times, they can't get off," Stanley said.

"Sometimes you can take off, sometimes you can't," Bryant said," then men I have in my fire department that are gone, they're gone working and they can't come back."

Anyone caught burning during the ban, faces a $500 fine.

But there are exceptions, Bryant says gas grills are permitted on concrete, and, "you an have a camp fire up to three foot in a diameter and a three foot bare-earth fire break around the fire pit," Bryant said.

Garvin, Coal, Love and Carter counties also just started 14 day burn bans.

Marshall County Commissioners will meet next week to vote on a ban.

"A wise choice just to adhere to the rules, a burn ban doesn't last forever," Bryant said.

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