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Drought season in Mississippi: how to have a successful controlled burn

It is officially drought season in Mississippi and the consequences could be drastic.

“Since October 1, we’ve had 167 wildfires and 247 structures have been involved in those fires, so there’s more than one structure involved in every fire,” said Randy Giachelli Fire Chief for the Mississippi Forestry Commission. ” That tells you that every fire has the potential of burning someones home down.”

He added that people do watch the fires, but do not realize that they may still be active fires when they leave the burn site.

Giachelli said that when planning a controlled burn being careful when setting it up and staying there the entire time until it has been put out completely are key to the success of the burn.

“We like to put mineral soil around all of our burn piles,” said Giachelli. “The higher people pile those sticks the higher those embers are going to float. Don’t light a huge pile because that is going to spit embers all day and into the night and no one is going to be able to sit there and watch that fire until it is completely out. There will still be heat in that pile the next morning.”

Giachelli said that the public needs to be mindful of whether any burn bans are in place before planning a controlled burn.

Giachelli said that Central Mississippi is the driest part of the state with Holmes and the outlying counties being the driest in the state.

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