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70 Mississippi counties under burn ban as extreme drought conditions continue

Photo courtesy of MFC/Twitter

Nearly three months have passed since Mississippi officials called for a burn ban to be issued in the majority of counties across the state, with only 12 counties currently being exempt from the list due to extreme drought conditions.

According to the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), approximately 85 percent of Mississippi is under a burn ban despite recent rainfall in several portions of the state.

“Experts describe the drought’s effects as the most severe in at least a generation. Pervasive dryness throughout the Mississippi River Basin has resulted in low water levels, allowing wildfires to encroach upon hardwood river bottoms in parts of Mississippi,” MFC Fire Chief Randy Giachelli explained. “Additionally, our deciduous trees are shedding leaves early due to the drought. However, the area at most risk continues to be pine forests and the underlying southern rough.”

Critical fire weather conditions may arise from various factors, including dry cold fronts followed by windy and dry conditions, strong high pressure over the northern U.S. combined with low pressure south of the advisory area, subsidence adjacent to tropical cyclones, sea breeze fronts, and erratic winds associated with outflow from nearby thunderstorms.

“Please remember that 9 of 10 wildfires are human-caused. The slightest spark can cause a wildfire,” Giachelli added. “Even small things like throwing cigarette butts out of a car, dragging chains, or other towing mechanisms down the street behind a vehicle can cause a fire. If you start a fire, you can be held accountable or fined for damages.”

Here’s the current list of Mississippi counties that are under a burn ban:

Photo courtesy of the MFC/website
  • Adams
  • Amite
  • Attala
  • Bolivar
  • Calhoun
  • Carroll
  • Chickasaw
  • Claiborne
  • Clarke
  • Clay
  • Copiah
  • Covington
  • Forrest
  • Franklin
  • George
  • Greene
  • Grenada
  • Hancock
  • Harrison
  • Hinds
  • Humphreys
  • Issaquena
  • Itawamba
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Jones
  • Kemper
  • Lafayette
  • Lamar
  • Lauderdale
  • Lawrence
  • Leake
  • Lee
  • Lincoln
  • Lowndes
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Marshall
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Neshoba
  • Newton
  • Noxubee
  • Oktibbeha
  • Panola
  • Pearl River
  • Perry
  • Pike
  • Pontotoc
  • Rankin
  • Scott
  • Sharkey
  • Simpson
  • Smith
  • Stone
  • Sunflower
  • Tallahatchie
  • Tate
  • Tishomingo
  • Union
  • Walthall
  • Warren
  • Wayne
  • Webster
  • Wilkinson
  • Winston
  • Yalobusha
  • Yazoo

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