OKLAHOMA CITY — Citing recent rainfall and the advice of agriculture experts, Gov. Brad Henry modified the state’s burn ban, lifting burn prohibitions for all but four counties.

The Governor’s office announced the decision after reviewing data compiled by state agriculture, forestry and emergency management officials. Many counties in Oklahoma have received significant rainfall over the last few weeks.

“Even though the recent rains have been helpful, Oklahomans must still use common sense when they are involved with any type of outdoor burning,” said Gov. Henry. “We remain in the midst of the worst drought in state history, and citizens must exercise extreme caution to help protect lives and property.”

According to data compiled by agriculture officials, the fire danger remains high in the four counties that will remain under the burn ban: Garfield, Grant, Pawnee and Osage.

In the burn ban counties, there are exemptions for low-risk activities such as charcoal and gas grilling. Occupations such as welding can also earn exemptions, provided tradesmen follow specific protections outlined by the Department of Agriculture. Violations of the ban are misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one-year imprisonment.

Because of the record drought conditions, Oklahoma has been under some form of burn ban nine of the last 12 months. Gov. Henry instituted the most recent ban in early August when dry, hot and windy conditions fueled wildfires across the state.

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