Burn Ban Could Impact Welding Businesses In Some Counties

Monday, April 4th 2011, 8:45 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Burn bans are in effect in counties all over Oklahoma, but there are some differences between the bans and that is having an impact on some businesses.

Nobody was welding outdoors on Monday due to the extremely dry, windy conditions. But under the burn ban, outdoor welding is allowed in McClain County.

Some businesses do all their welding indoors, so they're not troubled by any burn ban. But some companies that work on pipelines or structural steel fabrication rely on doing welding outdoors. An outdoor ban would really hurt them.

"It would make it a little more difficult because it would make the job take longer and that kind of slows everything down. You'd last longer on one job. It takes time before you get to the next job," said Tony Cowart with Weibee Steel.

Luckily Cowart's company operates in McClain County where the burn ban allows welding out of doors. But things are different in Cleveland County.

"Currently with Cleveland County, there is no exemptions for welders," said Rod Cleveland, Cleveland County Commissioner.

Different counties have different rules, but everywhere the fear is the same-- grassfires are just waiting to happen through human carelessness or humans who couldn't care less.

Forestry officials show 35 counties are currently under a burn ban.

Anyone caught burning anything could pay a $500 fine and face one year in jail.