By Matt Montgomery
Canadian County has officially been placed under a burn ban and Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan said that means there is no outdoor burning allowed.
He said the burn ban was enacted by the Canadian County commissioners, and all burning is prohibited. He did say there is one exception for gas grills, with no exposed flames and a covered cooking surface.
However, the Piedmont Fire Department will make exceptions for welders and torchers, but it is on a limited basis.
“As far as welding and torching goes, it is on a case-by-case basis and you have to have adequate fire watchers, which are people other than the person doing the welding or the torching,” Logan said. “Obviously, you have to have fire extinguishers or some sort of pressurized water source.”
He explained that an adequate fire watcher would just be someone else there to act as a spotter, in case a fire were to ignite.
“Like I said, it’s all done on a case-by-case basis,” he added. “But, if it is not an area with very tall, dry vegetation and what we consider a safe location then we will consider it, but like I said, we are just following the solution put forth by the county commissioners.”
In reference to burning and dry conditions, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Monday for all 77 counties.
“Extreme heat and dry conditions continue to affect the entire state,” Fallin said in a press release sent out Monday. “My administration will be ready to help provide whatever aid and assistance it can as Oklahoma communities work to cope with this drought.”
According to the release, the Executive Order issued by the Govenor allows state agencies to make emergency purchaces related to disaster relief preparedness. The release also added that the Executive Order is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance, should it be necessary.
Forty-seven of Oklahoma’s 77 counties have been placed under 30-day countywide burn bans.
Fallin added that the state of emergency can be amended on environmental conditions.