Fire chief issues burn ban for the city of Guthrie

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By order of the Fire Chief’s Office, there is now a burn ban in effect for the city limits of Guthrie. This will go into effect immediately and will continue until further notice.

“Our vegetation is extremely dry. This coupled with no rainfall in the forecast and very low humidity levels makes for a very bad combination in terms of grass fires,” Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said.

Last year, the chief issued the same ban that lasted 104 days.

“We are extremely dry in Logan County right now. There is no rain in the near future being forecasted and the fuels continue to become drier by the minute,” Harlow explained.

All burn permits are now considered null and void and no new permits will be issued until the burn ban is lifted.

“The relative humidity levels in the afternoon hours are below 20 percent, which is what firefighters view as a critical in terms of fire danger. The winds are steadily picking up which causes fires to spread more rapidly,” Harlow further explained.

The burn ban includes any and all outdoor burning with the exception of gas and charcoal grills only. The grills will be allowed only on non-combustible surfaces, like driveways or concrete patios.

“Wood decks are NOT considered to be non-combustible and are therefore not an acceptable surface,” Harlow said.

Any persons violating this ban can be subject to a $500 fine and up to 10 days in jail. Also, any and all fireworks will be confiscated from persons found discharging them during this ban.

In the last 30 days, Guthrie has received .22 of an inch of rain according the mesonet. In 2012, Guthrie officially has received 20.22 inches of rain compared to 23.94 inches total in 2011.

Currently, Guthrie has had five consecutive days of 100 degree’s or warmer for a total of 11 days in 2012. The forecast this week is calling for triple digits each day.

Right now, Logan County is not in a burn ban despite 31 Oklahoma counties declaring the ban, including Oklahoma County. Related story: Will Logan County go under a burn ban?

If you have any questions, please call the Guthrie Fire Department at 282-4433.

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