ARDMORE – Numerous fire hazards exist across the Texoma region and multiple agencies are warning against activities that could spark wildfires. The National Weather Service in Norman on Saturday continued to issue warnings as county officials have kept a burn ban in place for three weeks.
“Low relative humidity, breezy winds, near record high temperatures, and dry vegetation will lead to near critical to critical fire weather conditions this afternoon across western, northern, and southwestern Oklahoma, and most of western north Texas,” read the NWS Hazardous Weather Outlook on Saturday morning.
With rain possible on Monday and cooler temperatures after, drought conditions are expected to persist across the entire state. The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday showed most of Carter County under Extreme Drought conditions, with only a small sliver in the southwest experiencing Severe Drought conditions.
Carter County has experienced nearly constant drought conditions since September 2021, with a brief reprieve through June and early July, according to U.S. Drought Monitor archives. Severe Drought conditions or worse have continued countywide since.
County commissioners on Monday extended a burn ban for a third week, restricting or prohibiting dangerous outdoor activities like metal cutting and grinding. Burn bans were in place in 46 of 77 Oklahoma counties on Friday, according to data from the Oklahoma Forestry Service.
Violations of the burn ban could result in a $500 find and a year in jail. The Carter County Commission will consider a burn ban extension during their regular meeting on Monday.