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January 30, 2014

Burn ban remains in effect in Payne County

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County is in need of some moisture before the Payne County officials will think about lifting a burn ban.

At the Payne County Commissioner meeting Thursday, the county commissioners extended the burn ban that started Jan 21. Payne County Emergency Management Director Jeff Kuhn said he encouraged extending the burn ban until after next week’s predicted snow storm.

“The conditions haven’t gotten any better,” Kuhn said. “I’ve talked to most of the fire chiefs and the majority of them are in favor in continuing at least until the Monday meeting and see what happens on that snow that is coming in next week.”

Kuhn said most fires reported in Payne County are caused by cigarettes. He said people who burn brush or trash usually have control of their environment and their fire.

Kuhn jokingly said if the county could ban cigarettes, Payne County would have less fires.

“If we could ban cigarettes we could be doing a lot better in Payne County,” Kuhn said. “Can’t do that, so people have been good about burning trash and not starting fires.”

With low humidity and dry air hovering over Payne County, the fire risk is extremely high. Kuhn said a burn ban will continue to be needed until the county receives moisture.

The county commissioners voted to extend the burn ban until Monday's meeting, which is where they will discuss if a burn ban is still needed.

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