It’s “Wildfire Prevention Month” in Mississippi following a proclamation made by Governor Tate Reeves.
According to the Mississippi Forestry Commission, March has one of the highest wildfire occurrence rates of the year due to the transition from winter to spring, dry vegetation and windy conditions.
In March 2019, the MFC responded to and suppressed 260 wildfires that burned approximately 5,293 acres. During the month, MFC Wildland Firefighters saved 602 homes, commercial buildings and other structures.
MFC State Forester Russell Bozeman, stated that most wildfires are caused by humans and therefore, can be prevented.
“Nationally, nine out of 10 wildfires are human-caused, which means nine out of 10 wildfires cold have been prevented,” Bozeman said “Wildfire Prevention Month allows us to highlight the responsibility of Mississippians to help protect forests, their homes and, ultimately, their lives by focusing on how to prevent wildfires.”
To help prevent wildfires, the MFC offers these tips:
- Check local ordinances. Outdoor burning may be prohibited in your area.
- Check for local or statewide burn bans.
- Check the local weather forecast. Do not burn on dry, windy days.
- Choose a safe burn site, away from flammable materials. The ground around your burn
site should be surrounded by bare dirt or gravel.
- Only burn untreated wood debris. Plastic, rubber tires or other manufactured materials
may not be burned.
- Always have a water source close by.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
“Mississippi’s 19.2 million acres of forestland are vital to the health and well-being of the state,” Bozeman said. “The MFC thanks Gov. Reeves for his proclamation, and we ask all Mississippians to be responsible when using fire on their property. Remember, only YOU can prevent wildfires.”