The Duncan Banner

February 20, 2014

Weather conditions ripe for wildfires

Tyler Boydston
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — With weather conditions in the area getting dryer, the possibilities of fires are more imminent in Stephens County.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry advised there should be no outdoor burning this week due to weather conditions, including a series of dry cold fronts expected to hit the state.

According to the National Weather Service, winds could gust as high as 47 mph on Thursday, and there will be gusts as high as 24 mph on Friday during the day. No rain is expected.

Duncan Fire Chief Dayton Burnside said there are a few things residents can do.

“Make sure trailer chains aren’t dragging when you are traveling,” Burnside said.

Smokers tossing cigarette butts from vehicles have caused fires  in the past, but so far this season smokers appear to have curbed that behavior, Burnside said.

There is not a burn ban in place now, county commissioners and fire chiefs meet weekly to discuss the possibility of instating one.

There are already 12 counties in the state under a burn ban.

“We’ve been fortunate so far to not have any problems,” Burside said. “So far people have stepped up and been smart about fire safety.”