County-wide burn ban extended through weekend

ARDMORE – Carter County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an extension to last week’s county-wide burn ban despite rain and cooler weather. The National Weather Service in Norman expects a cold front to move through the state late Tuesday night, bringing dry air and elevated fire concerns across the entire state.

The second week of a burn ban comes as drought conditions have lingered for months. The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday showed Severe Drought conditions through most of Carter County, with Extreme Drought conditions from the northwest corner of the state stretching to the southeast. Exceptional Drought conditions are being recorded through a large portion of east-central Oklahoma.

Even with months of drought conditions, the decision among area fire chiefs to extend the burn ban was not unanimous. Carter County Emergency Management Director Paul Tucker told commissioners that some areas have not seen fires that could have been prevented by a burn ban, and others see green grass and less severe conditions.

“We got a poll of the fire chiefs for Carter County and it’s pretty much a tie: seven agree, six disagree and three no-contacts,” Commission President Joe David McReynolds told commissioners on Monday, speaking of the burn ban renewal.

Commissioners ultimately voted to approve the ban into next week. The commission will reconsider another seven-day extension during their regular meeting next Monday.

In other business on Tuesday, the commission:

  • approved quotes for doors and locks at the courthouse and Annex I;
  • accepted a bid for demolition of 25 B St. NW;
  • approved a contract with M&M Wrecking;
  • approved three road crossing permits for Continental Resources, Inc;
  • declared a grease gun surplus from District 3;
  • approved advertising for bids on remodeling Sheriff’s administration offices;
  • approved advertising for bids on new maintenance, storage buildings;
  • approved monthly appropriations and officers’ reports;
  • approved requisitions and purchase orders for County Highway, General Government and all cash accounts.