Burn ban returns to Carter County

ARDMORE – The Carter County Commission on Monday approved a new burn ban after weeks of no rain in the area and a similar forecast for the foreseeable future. The ban prohibits some outdoor cooking, welding and other activities that could ignite a fire for at least one week.

District 3 Commissioner Berry Lee-Brinkman seated at the commissioners' table, speaking to fellow commissioners to his left.
Carter County District 3 Commissioner Berry Lee-Brinkman during his first commission meeting Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. A week-long burn ban was the first resolution approved by the newest county commissioner. (M. Dean Smith/Carter Observer)

Commissioner Joe David McReynolds told those at Monday’s regular meeting that officials in county firefighting and emergency management recommended a new burn ban. The National Weather Service in Norman expects dry conditions across southern Oklahoma for at least the next seven days, with daily high temperatures in the 80s.

No rain has been recorded in Ardmore since Sept. 5, according to regular data collection by Carter Observer.

The commission approved a series of similar burn bans for several weeks during the summer months that prohibited outdoor campfires and bonfires. Igniting fireworks, burning trash, and crop burns are also prohibited under the ban. Grills can be used outdoors as long as they are at least five feet from flammable vegetation, according to previous burn ban resolutions.

Welding, torch cutting and grinding activities can only be done on a minimum 10-feet by 10-feet non-combustible surface with blankets covering flammable vegetation. Someone other than the welder must also be posted at the site with a fire extinguisher or pressurized water.

No welding, cutting or grinding can be done if wind speeds are over 20 miles per hour. NWS forecasts on Monday expect winds from the southeast at less than 10 miles per hour.

The previous burn ban was enacted in July and did not expire until the end of August. In that time, less than four inches of rainfall was recorded in Ardmore.

Monday’s burn ban was the first resolution signed by Commissioner Berry Lee-Brinkman, who was sworn in as the District 3 commissioner immediately before the regular meeting. Lee-Brinkman joins the commission after a special election and runoff to replace the seat vacated by Jerry Alvord.

In other business, the commission:

  • tabled action on quotes for new doors for the Carter County Courthouse and Annex I;
  • approved two floodplain permits for pipeline burials;
  • approved five requisition officers;
  • approved receiving officers for District 3;
  • approved advertising for bid on county property near Healdton;
  • approved two road crossing permits for Chickasaw Telephone Company;
  • approved highest bid for disassembly and removal of metal carport on B Street Northwest;
  • approved the single bid for a twin screw winch truck.