Grove Fire Chief Lee Dollarhide said Monday that the city would not be issuing burn permits until the area receives some much-needed rain.
According to Weather Underground, the last day that Grove received more than a trace amount of precipitation was July 9, or 52 days ago.
Lack of precipitation combined with oppressively hot weather, have made area fields and yards into tinderboxes.
"Everyone needs to use extra caution,” Dollarhide said. “It only takes one little spark right now to start a grass fire."
Dollarhide said that Grove Fire Department had responded to six grass fires in the past few days as of Monday morning.
“Most of the grass fires have been coming from controlled burns that have gotten out of control - or people think they are out when they’re not. It only takes a little wind to carry a spark,” Dollarhide explained.
The other danger when the weather is so hot and dry is cigarettes, Dollarhide said.
“Some of the grass fires have been ditch fires - probably started by cigarettes,” he noted. “People need to extinguish their cigarettes. Do not throw them out the window.”
Dollarhide explained that burning in the city limits is only legal with a burn permit.
“Nobody is allowed to burn without a permit,” he said, adding that residents can still use grills, but should always exercise caution.
Dollarhide said he isn’t sure when the county commissioners will follow suit and issue a countywide burn ban.
“That will probably come real quick,” he said.
So far three counties in Oklahoma have issued county burn bans, Latimer, Cherokee and LeFlore – all in the eastern part of the state.
The National Weather Service has predicted a slight chance of rain this week. If the area gets enough rain, fire danger will go down drastically.
“We are crossing our fingers,” Dollarhide said.