By Conrad Dudderar
With hot, windy conditions and no moisture in the forecast, Canadian County is back under a burn ban.
Canadian County Commissioners voted 3-0 at their Aug. 15 meeting to pass a resolution enacting the outdoor burning restrictions for two weeks.
The resolution is due to expire at 9 a.m. Aug. 29 but could be lifted before then if conditions improve.
New Canadian County Emergency Manager Josh Davis surveyed the county’s fire chiefs, who recommended that commissioners enact a new burn ban because of an extreme fire danger.
“We meet the criteria for the county to be in a burn ban,” Davis said Monday morning.
This is due to extreme drought conditions, lack of precipitation and triple-digit temperatures early this week.
“That ‘checks the boxes’,” District 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader said. “I think it’s warranted.”
At Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson’s request, Davis developed a form to document the county fire chiefs’ concurrence on whether outside burning should be prohibited.
Anyone violating Canadian County’s burn ban is subject to a maximum $500 fine and/or one year in jail.
The specific exceptions to Canadian County’s burn ban are:
- Outdoor gas grilling and charcoal grilling with a hood covering the cooking area
- Cutting and welding operations – if approved “prior to the operation” and permitted by local fire authorities having jurisdiction
- Burning vegetative debris – if the weather forecast and conditions become favorable, a detailed burn plan accompanies the request, the request is made at least 48 hours in advance, and adequate fire suppression is arranged and approved by permit
District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart said he “definitely agrees” with having a burn ban in place – at least for this week.
Citing cooler temperatures and rain chances this weekend, Stewart asked that commissioners “re-look at it” at their Aug. 22 meeting.
“Maybe we ought to at least have it on as an agenda next week just to talk about it,” he said.
THIS AND THAT …
In other business at their weekly meeting Aug. 15, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
- An annual cooperative agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Service for a wildlife damage management program. Canadian County pays $2,400 ($800 per commissioner district) for beaver trapping services.
- Confirmation of Keith Dennis as trustee representing the Town of Union City on the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority Board of Trustees.
- A resolution allowing the Canadian County Local Emergency Planning Committee to accept a $2,500 donation from Camino Natural Resources.
- A rental agreement with Warren Cat for a sweeper in District 1.
Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing total population of 225, with 182 inmates at the El Reno detention center and 43 prisoners housed in outside counties, with 18 awaiting transfer to the state Department of Corrections.