JACKSON, MISS– Burn bans have been put in place in 77 counties across the state.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission listed the following bans across the state:
While the burn bans are put in place on a county-by-county basis, determined by local elected officials, the decision is made based on recent weather conditions and the forecast.
The forecast is dry for the next week, which could call for a larger scale fire-related warning, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service.
A fire danger warning, set by the National Weather Service, is a large-area or statewide message that indicates that conditions are favorable for a wildfire to spread. This forecast and the possibility of that warning played into the decision to set burn bans in place.
“Wildfires can start with just a spark and spread quickly to endanger forestland, personal property, and lives. Please do your part to help prevent wildfires by observing local burn bans and exercising proper fire safety.” Charlie Morgan, State Forester, Mississippi Forestry Commission
Burn bans include small campfires and fire pits. The reason for this is that in addition to the open flame, the wind can carry floating embers from the campfire away from the fire and into nearby fuels such as grass or brush. With the high wind and low humidity forecast for this week, a small ember can create a large wildfire quickly. A discarded cigarette can ignite grass, and several fires have started from sparks being thrown from dragging safety chains from trailers going down the road.
Violation of a burn ban could result in fines ranging from $100 to $500. There are exemptions to the burn ban, outlined on the Mississippi Forestry Commission website. Even with these exemptions, anyone wishing to burn should call the Mississippi Forestry Commission as a precaution.