McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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December 17, 2012

Burn ban

Pittsurg County under 7 day burn ban

McALESTER — Monday, a seven day burn ban for Pittsburg County was signed into effect by Pittsburg County Commissioners at the regularly scheduled commissioners meeting, according to Trent Myers, director of McAlester/Pittsburg County Emergency Management.

"We have been under extreme drought conditions for quite a while," Myers said. "We are 12 to 14 behind on our annual rainfall."

"We had a lot of fires last week in eastern Pittsburg County and now it (the drought) is getting pretty critical," Myers said. "The bad thing is there is no substantial rainfall in site. So, in light of last weeks fires we've decided to take preventative action."

Myers noted a Pittsburg County burn ban must first be requested by at least one Pittsburg County fire chief and then voted on my all fire departments. If the majority is in favor of a burn ban, then the burn ban resolution is brought to the commissioners to sign for approval.

According to the resolution, during the ban it is unlawful of 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 my cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wild lands fire.

The resolution also states offenders can arrested and fined for violating the ban.

Also according to the resolution, any law enforcement officer of the State of Oklahoma may carry out the enforcement and any person convicted of violating this resolution is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $500.

The Pittsburg County Commissioners meet every Monday at 9 a.m. in the county commissioner’s conference room at the Pittsburg County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public.

Contact MJ Brickey by email mjbrickey@journalist.com.

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