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Some are ready for burn ban to be lifted

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ALTUS, Okla_Jackson County's Emergency Manager said the county is ready to see the burn ban lifted. They are just one of 33 counties that still remain under Governor Mary Fallin's state-issued burn ban. Even though Southwest Oklahoma finally got some much needed rain, the burn ban for most of this part of the state is still in effect.

Emergency Manager Wayne Cain said he's seeing the effects of the recent rainfall all over the county. The grass is looking greener and the lakes are looking higher. But Altus Emergency Manager Lloyd Colston said don't be fooled by the change in scenery going on.

A red, white and yellow map of Oklahoma details the 33 Oklahoma counties under Governor Fallin's burn ban. Jackson County is one, but its emergency manager said that should not be the case.

"We've had three to six inches of rain in most parts of the county in the last week, the winds are a  little up, but we've had high due points."

Altus Emergency Management Director Lloyd Colston supports the governor's decision to keep the ban in place.  

"Clearly we are improved weather wise so we're not in red flag condition but clearly we haven't met the comfort level or some of our state leadership."

Colston said more lakes filled with water would help, and that this corner of the state, in comparison to central Oklahoma, for example, is still quite dry.

"When I left Northeast Oklahoma this weekend, I came back and saw a very lovely sight and that was standing water in the fields from the heavy rains they got especially around the city and Caddo County. That was a nice sight, I'm not seeing so much of that in Altus."

"If something transpires and we need to reiterate that burn ban, then we can on the county level through our county commissioners and my office," Cain said.

Colston said he is in contact with the state's weather service daily and said officials are looking to announce the state's current drought condition this Thursday.

That could also be a reason why certain counties have not yet seen the burn ban lifted.

7News contacted the Governor's office earlier Tuesday and they said the burn ban could be removed for Southwest Oklahoma counties by the end of the week.

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