McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 17, 2014

Pittsburg County commissioners issue burn ban

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Pittsburg County commissioners issued a burn ban Friday  during an emergency commissioners’ meeting at the county courthouse.

The burn ban is set to remain in effect for seven days, although it could be extended.

It prohibits burning grass or setting fire to any grass, crop, range, forest or wildlands.

The ban on burning also prohibits burning trash or building a bonfire or campfire or burning other material that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire.

Anyone convicted of violating the burn ban faces a possible penalty of up to a year in jail, a fine of not more than $500, or both.

McAlester/Pittsburg County Emergency Management Director Kevin Enloe said he presented the burn ban request to the commissioners at the request of most fire chiefs with the Pittsburg County Firefighters Association.

Enloe said the main concern is windy days in the forecast and dried vegetation on top of the ground.

Several exceptions are provided to the burn ban, including propane equipment related to road construction projects, and welding and cutting torch activities under specified conditions. LPG, natural gas and charcoal cooking in a grilling receptacle is also allowed, as long as the activity is conducted over a non-flammable surface at least five feet from flammable vegetation.

An exclusion has also been provided for McAlester Fire Department for a live fire training exercise.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.