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Tulsa County burn ban extended another week

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Sand bars continue to be exposed in the Arkansas River, seen near downtown Tulsa on Aug. 29, as dry conditions continue across the area and state.

Tulsa County residents will be in a burn ban for at least another week as dry conditions continue across the area and state.

The Tulsa County commissioners approved an extension of the burn ban through Sept. 19 after area fire officials determined that conditions in the weather forecast were appropriate under guidelines for extreme fire dangers.

The burn ban could be extended again if the dry conditions continue.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Tulsa said there is no real precipitation chance for the next week and winds will begin to pick up, leading to some fire weather concerns into next week.

“Tulsa County had 65 wildfire events in the month of August, which is four times the average,” said Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency Director Joseph Kralicek. “We’ve only had seven so far in September, so we’d like to keep the trend moving downwards.”

Outdoor burning — including controlled burns, bonfires, fire pits and chimineas — is prohibited under the ban, but grilling and welding over a nonflammable surface are permitted.

Enforcement of the resolution can be carried out by any law enforcement officer in Oklahoma, and violators can receive up to a $500 fine, a prison sentence not to exceed a year, or both. Fines may be higher in municipalities.

Tulsa County isn’t the only area in the state where drought conditions are affecting residents.

On Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order to deliver drought relief to farmers in western Oklahoma and other parts of the state that have been hit hard by the drought conditions.

“I will always do everything in my power to support Oklahoma’s great farmers and ranchers who work hard every day to feed our state and our nation,” Stitt said in a news release.

“Whether it’s inflation or drought conditions, our agriculture producers have been dealing with some tough challenges this year so I am glad that with the help of the legislature we can help provide this relief.”

Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said in the release that she will work with the Emergency Drought Commission to allocate funds that will provide long-term solutions to farmers and ranchers to help mitigate the impact of drought now and into the future.

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A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California is burning north and northeast in Placer County, triggering additional evacuations as firefighters battle the flames.

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