Claremore Daily Progress

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February 18, 2014

30-day burn ban issued by county

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County is now under a 30-day burn ban due to near record-breaking drought conditions.
On Tuesday, the Rogers County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution upon the advice of Emergency Management Director Scotty Stokes.
Stokes said area fire chiefs have basically been begging for the ban. Several grass fires have burned more than a 1,000 acres throughout the county over  the last few weeks, according to Stokes.
The county meets the criteria necessary to issue the ban with no more than a half inch of rain listed in the three-day forecast and with more than 20 percent of fires being caused by escaped debris or controlled burning, according to Stokes.
Gas grills, with no open exposed flames, will be permitted under the ban, according to the resolution.
Stokes said the ban includes the same precautions as the ban issued last month. 
Outdoor welding and cutting torch activities may continue under the following conditions: When conducted over a non-combustible surface of at least 10 feet by 10 feet and when welding blankets or screens are used to cover flammable vegetation.
Wind speeds must be less than 20 mph and a fire watch, other than the welder, is posted at the welding/cutting torch site with pressurized water fire extinguisher.
Public records show outdoor welding or cutting torch activities cause many fires each year. The ban is intended to prevent wildland fires caused by this activity.
In addition to the penalties prescribed in the law for violations of the outdoor burning ban, operators may also be liable for damages caused by a fire and for the costs of suppressing such fire. Extreme caution is advised. 
“It is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire,” according to the resolution.
For more information about the ban,  contact Stokes at (918) 694-1080.

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