Creek County implements a 14-day burn ban, effective today

Creek County Emergency Management Director Covey Murray came before the Board of Country Commissioners Monday morning to request a 14-day burn ban. “We pretty much match all the things needed to put on a burn ban,” he said. “We got ahold of all the fire chiefs Friday, and the drought conditions we have with no rain in the forecast, I think it would be a good idea to get one for 14 days.” 

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Murray gave Commissioners a drought map of the state dated September 20, 2022. This map shows that practically all of the state is experiencing drought conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional drought. The southern part of Creek County is categorized as an “extreme” drought condition, and the rest of the county is in a “severe” drought condition.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency defines extreme drought as “crop or pasture failures likely; water shortages common; and water restrictions imposed.”

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Emergency Management Director Covey Murray.

Murray said the number of grass fires has been a growing concern as well. “Yesterday We had five fires that I know of in Creek County,” he said. “We had Kellyville, Depew, Bristow, and Sapulpa had two with just that little bit of wind that we had…they was pretty much busy and until at least 4 o’clock, yesterday…we’re tipping into the extreme drought now at the bottom of our county.”

District 1 Commissioner Newt Stephens expressed concern about the length of the ban. “We are such a rural and large country that trash service is not throughout the county, so a lot of people in the rural areas burn their trash,” he said. “You put on a 14-day ban and it makes it a little rough on them to do that.” However, Murray pointed out that anyone wishing to burn trash or burn off a field could contact their local fire chief and request an exception.

District 2 Commissioner Leon Warner suggested the County put out signs on highways alerting people of the burn ban. Stephens added that the Board will address the ban at the next regularly scheduled meeting, and if conditions warrant, the ban will be lifted.

After considerable deliberation, the Board unanimously passed a motion to put in place a 14-day burn ban. The proclamation issued by the BOCC declares a disaster emergency, thus putting the ban into effect Monday, September 26, at Noon. 

Exceptions are gas grill, charcoal grills, and smokers attended on a concrete pad with water available.