Burn Bans Dropped, Questions Raised

Several counties across Texoma have lifted burn bans to allow property owners to take care of burn jobs. Still, the fire danger is very real. Newschannel 6 is asking tough questions of Wichita County leaders about the lifting of the ban.

Thursday, a controlled burn near Kamay got out of hand and fire crews had to be called in. Flames inched toward a home, but crews got it knocked out in time.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said its important that agricultural producers have the chance to use fire as a tool. "We want to try to give the Ag people time to do their stuff… "We're really talking about agricultural burning; maybe clearing a field, or where someone has cleared a pasture land and piled up mesquite trees," he said.

The decision was based on input received from county fire chiefs. They meet once a month with emergency management leaders to discuss fire weather conditions and share thoughts. Newschannel 6 questioned Gossom about the decision made.

NC6: Is there any concern that perhaps the ban was lifted too early? That we didn't have enough rain?

Gossom: I haven't heard that from anyone and of course there's always going to be someone at the coffee shop that's skeptical of that, and if we hadn't lifted it, we would be wrong for that too. We try to do the best we can, we take the input from the people that have to deal with that and the fire departments, the chiefs all recommended that we lift the ban.

NC6: This is something you guys are closely watching?

Gossom: Closely watching, we're looking for their input, were interested in citizens input but we quite frankly give the greatest weight to what the VFDs are coming back and saying.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6