Canadian County enacts burn ban

‘Extreme fire danger’ outdoors cited; restrictions due to expire Jan. 10

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Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – With extended dry, windy conditions and no substantial rain forecasted, Canadian County is now under a burn ban.

That action came Dec. 20 when Canadian County Commissioners approved a resolution enacting the ban on all outdoor burning “due to extreme fire danger” that now exists in Canadian County.

The outdoor burn ban took effect at noon Monday and is due to expire at noon Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Canadian County Emergency Manager Andrew Skidmore and the county’s fire chiefs recommended the action, according to County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart.

With the ongoing “high fire danger” in Canadian County, Stewart asked Skidmore last week to survey local fire chiefs to “get a consensus.”

“Almost every single one of them asked that we put a burn ban into effect,” said Stewart, the District 3 county commissioner. “I think it’s needed, at this point. And the fire chiefs across our county concur.

“The advantages, in this case, outweigh the disadvantages. You get one of those started – especially today with the wind up – it’s just almost impossible to stop.”

Stewart referred to recent large outdoor fires – including one in far west Canadian County that burned more than 500 acres.

Geary Fire Chief Jeff Choate explained the need for outdoor burning restrictions in an email to the county’s board chairman.

In that email, Choate pointed out there has been “no relief” due to an extended period with almost no rain – and “no significant chance in the near future.”

Although the burn ban is due to last three weeks, Chairman Stewart noted it could be lifted earlier if conditions improve.

Meanwhile, there is not much chance for a white Christmas in Canadian County this year.

For travelers, the skies across Canadian County will be sunny with high temperatures in the 60s Tuesday through Thursday. Friday will be sunny with a high of 80 degrees.

Christmas Day on Saturday is expected to be sunny with a high near 66 degrees. Sunday will be sunny and 73 degrees.

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THIS AND THAT …

In other business at their weekly meeting Dec. 20, Canadian County Commissioners approved:

  • A resolution allowing the Canadian County Public Facilities Authority to incur up to $10 million in debt by issuing a 2021 use tax revenue note, which will refund the authority’s 2018 note. BancFirst will refinance the debt at a 2.8% interest rate.
  • Awarding an $11,829.03 quote to Ezell’s Refrigeration of El Reno to replace the rooftop HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) unit at the Canadian County Health Department’s Yukon office. Other quotes were $12,778 and $13,800.
  • An amendment to a land covenant to allow adult clients to stay overnight when required at Red Rock Behavioral Health Services, 7777 U.S. Route 66.
  • A resolution allowing the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office to accept a $1,000 donation from Marathon Oil to be used for equipment, training or general operating expenses.

Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly Canadian County Jail report showing 246 inmates in custody, with 216 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 30 housed in other counties.