In light of extremely dry weather and a lack of significant rainfall throughout the state, Gov. Brad Henry ordered an immediate burn ban Tuesday.

All 77 counties throughout the state, including Cleveland County, are included in the ban.

Chuck Early, chairman, Little Axe Fire Protection District, said over the weekend, firefighters in east Cleveland County responded to seven separate fires. Numerous other area volunteer fire stations also reported a number of incidents Monday ranging from a 15-acre grass and trailer fire in Slaughterville to a 100-acre grassland fire in Newcastle.

"We had a lot of rain for a while so weeds and grass grew up, then we've hit the winter season and without any rain, it's like a book of matches out there," Early said.

Wildfires have been a real and serious danger over the past month, Gov. Henry said. "Already this month, wildfires have burned nearly 11,000 acres in Oklahoma. This burn ban is necessary to help ensure the protection of lives and property."

The declaration will remain in effect as conditions warrant.

Outdoor campfires are excluded if they have a non-combustible fire ring with a distance of at least five feet to the nearest wildland fuels, such as grass and leaves. Under the burn ban, a campfire cannot be unattended.

In addition, gas and charcoal grilling are excluded from the ban. Violations of the ban are misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one-year imprisonment.

--Transcript Staff

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