Tulsa County commissioners lift burn ban
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
9/25/12 at 6:34 AM
Tulsa County's burn ban is no longer in effect after commissioners decided not to renew it Monday.
Roger Jolliff, director of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, told commissioners that the county no longer met the criteria for instituting the ban.
"We are still in extreme drought at this time, so it is still very serious," he said after the meeting. "But again, we don't quite meet the criteria based on the weather and the good results that we have had of not starting fires the past few weeks.
"The actual number of fires is down, but if a fire gets started it could spread very quickly."
Jolliff said the main reason he did not recommend extending the ban was that the forecast calls for the area to receive more than a half-inch of rain over the next three days.
"That alone will preclude us from extending the burn ban," he said.
The county also failed to meet the criteria regarding the number of wildfires started by escaped debris from controlled burns, Jolliff said.
Commissioners imposed the ban July 6 and have extended it every week since.
As of Sunday, July, August and September have all had above-average temperatures in Tulsa, according to the National Weather Service.
From July through Sept. 23, Tulsa's rainfall has been nearly 4 inches less than normal.
Tulsa was one of 22 counties removed from a statewide burn ban Sept. 17, but the county burn ban had remained in effect.
Most counties in northeastern Oklahoma remain under the governor-declared statewide burn ban, except for Okmulgee and Ottawa counties. Creek County, where wildfires burned thousands of acres and hundreds of homes in August, is under a county-declared ban until at least Oct. 23.
The National Weather Service forecasts 20 percent to 30 percent chances of rain through Thursday, with additional chances forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Wind gusts of as much as 30 mph also are forecast for Tuesday, with high temperatures near 90 degrees expected.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa County no longer under burn ban
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313