Turkey frying during Muscogee County burn ban

Turkey frying during Muscogee County burn ban

(WTVM) - A burn ban remains in effect Tuesday night in Muscogee County, meaning no outdoor camp fires, or burning of any kind except in chimneys and masonry grills.

However, with Thanksgiving just days away, many are wondering how the ban will affect outdoor turkey cooking.

Columbus officials say you can still technically fry a turkey outside this year, but firefighters want you to remember that if something goes wrong, it could not only affect your home, but possibly start a fire that could spread throughout an entire neighborhood.

"You just want to make sure that you understand that you're dealing with grease that's in the range of 350 degrees to 400 degrees so it's very difficult to manage if you're not used to it," said Fire Marshal Ricky Shores.

Even then, the National Fire Protection Association says they still advise against using any kind of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that fully immerse the turkey in hot oil.

The NFPA explains how burners that heat the oil can ignite spilled oil, or hot oil can be released in the cooking process causing similar hazards.

"Certainly don't want anyone to try to put a frozen piece of meat into grease because you're going to have some-what of an uncontrolled, little explosion," said Shores.

With a regional drought, officials say a small explosion could cause bigger problems, even posing the possibility of spreading throughout a neighborhood.

"The ground is obviously, completely dried out at this point, and a little small fire that normally wouldn't move very far early in the year, is going to be a whole lot worse this time of year. Certainly need to remember that anything that hits the ground, that's lit, could cause a devastating grass or wild-land fire," said Shores.

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