Creek County Is Under 2 Week Burn Ban Due To Severe Drought


Monday, January 24th 2022, 9:59 pm


CREEK COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Creek County is under a burn ban for the next two weeks because of a severe drought.

Rule breakers could face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The Sapulpa Fire Chief said a lot of people either don't realize there's a burn ban.

Some people might think a small fire is easy to control. However, in these weather conditions, experts say you will not have control.

Grass fires are prevalent and Creek County leaders said a 14-day burn ban is their best line of defense.

"The fires can go almost as fast as you can walk or run," said James Vickrey, Sapulpa Fire Chief.

Sapulpa Fire Chief James Vickrey said these dry, windy conditions are fuel to a fire.

"Make sure that your property is maintained. That you keep the grass around your home to a low height. Make sure you don't have a lot of debris up next to your house. You know, firewood, lumber," said Vickrey.

County Commissioner Newt Stephens said he has a lot of land to look after.

Stephens said people who have crops to burn need to go get a special permit during burn bans for agricultural purposes.

He said, of the 15 fire departments across Creek County, about 11 are volunteer based. Resources may be limited.

"In your rural areas, they may have 40, 50 miles to travel," said Newt Stephens, Creek County Commissioner.

Stephens is asking folks to listen to the experts.

"Is it worth it? Is it worth burning that brush pile today? Or can it wait a couple weeks," said Stephens.

Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer said this dry spell isn't going away anytime soon.

"Unfortunately, this is excessively dry. It's La Nina and that's a weather pattern that really makes it excessively dry, usually in Oklahoma. The southern plains. Much of the western part of the country," said Travis Meyer.

Travis said La Nina patterns come and go every couple of years.

"We have seen a little bit more of these La Nina events than we have El Nino. Which means a little bit more dryer weather patterns have shown up over the last decade or two," said Travis.

He said we need to transition to a more wet weather pattern, which isn't expected until summertime.

"One storm system isn't gonna help us a lot. This is something when you get a long-term drought, takes a long time to fix," said Travis.