With strong winds, historically high temperatures and no moisture in the forecast, Canadian County officials issued an emergency burn ban on Thursday.
The unanimous vote came during an emergency meeting of the county commissioners and followed the recommendations of fire chiefs across the county.
District 3 County Commissioner Jack Stewart said officials had hoped to wait until Monday to implement the ban, but because of the forecast, were unable to do so.
The ban goes into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday and will run through noon April 23.
The ban was prompted by what Oklahoma forestry officials are calling an extreme fire danger over the next few days.
A fire Wednesday near Geary burned four acres as well as destroying a mobile home and two outbuildings, said Brian Snow, the interim emergency management director for Canadian County.
Snow said the fire was started by a backfire from a car engine and spread quickly boosted by plenty of fuel from dry grass and strong winds.
The fire was reported at about 4 p.m. and was extinguished at about 8 p.m.
At least 30 firefighters from six departments battled the fire.
“All it takes is one spark,” Snow said. “We got lucky Wednesday. We had a good response from multiple agencies.”
The burn ban means that all outdoor burning is prohibited. The only exceptions are for gas or charcoal grills that are enclosed.
The penalty for violating the ban include a fine of up to $500 and up to a year in jail.