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July 23, 2012

Commissioners reject request for burning permit

STILLWATER, Okla. — Conditions still are too dry to allow for any kind of outdoor burning, Payne County commissioners said Monday.

Steve Weaver, with Earl-Le Dozer, went before the commissioners to request a controlled burn permit for his company in the installation of power lines. Weaver said proper precautions would be taken, such as burning in ditches and the use of air curtains that would reduce smoke.

“I know the weather’s extremely dry,” he said.

Commissioner Jim Arthur said, “I know you’re needing to burn, but I’m afraid of it.”

The commissioners rejected the permit request.

Payne County Emergency Management Director Charley Lawson said, “The conditions haven’t improved at all; they aren’t real conducive to do any kind of outdoor burning right now.”

The commissioners issued a 30-day burn ban July 9. The resolution states it is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands. It is also unlawful to build a campfire or bonfire or burn trash that may cause fire.

There are exceptions to the fire prohibition, including indoor fireplaces and commercial or professional covered cookers used for business purposes only. Welding, torch-down roofing and gas grills are permitted with adequate precautions such as pressurized water or fire extinguishers.

Agricultural burning of range and crop lands is permitted with the submission of a written, prescribed plan to the fire department before the burn. Brush piles are not considered to be agricultural burns, and therefore not exempt.

Violation of the burn ban could result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $500 to up to one year imprisonment.

Nearly half the counties in Oklahoma are currently under a burn ban according to

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