Oklahoma’s burn ban has been in place since Nov. 15 to protect both the residents and land from disastrous fires. According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, two people have died, more than 220 homes and businesses have been destroyed and 379,455 acres have burned since Nov. 1 from the wildfires.

With little to no rainfall expected, breaking the ban could be cause for serious measures, something that should be enforced when someone carelessly discards a cigarette or starts a small fire. Violations of the ban are considered to be misdemeanors that are punishable by a fine up to $500 and one year in prison.

The disregard that one may have can cause life-changing scenarios for some. Not only have some lost their homes, but many have lost livestock as well.

"We've had cows lay down to calve and the fire came and burned them both up." Aubie Keesee, Oklahoma State University extension educator said.

During the first stockyard sale of the new year at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, the average number of cattle sold was 11,000. Since water and grass have been made scarce due to the fires, approximately 17,500 were on hand for the event.

"Owners are running low on stock water in ponds." Greg Griffeth, auctioneer of the event said, "They never have really grown any wheat, and they're forced to sell before they want to."

Starting fires that alter a business that affects the entire state is punishable by the burn ban rules and regulations, and rightly so.