MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Miss.- One death has been reported as a result of a wildfire in Montgomery County according to the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
MFC firefighters were called to the scene of a wildfire in Montgomery County on Thursday. A burn ban had been issued for the area before a private landowner decided to continue with an agricultural field burn.
The fire escaped the man’s control, spreading quickly, and eventually overtook him. His name has not yet been released. An investigation is ongoing at this time.
“We are deeply saddened by the news from Montgomery County,” said Charlie Morgan, State Forester. “Wildfires can start with just a spark and spread quickly to endanger forestland, homes, and lives. Please do your part to help prevent wildfires by observing local burn bans and exercising proper fire safety.”
This tragedy is a reminder that when burn bans are issued for a community it is imperative that they are followed. Currently 69 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are under a burn ban due to a severe lack of rain in the previous months.
The Governor’s partial state level burn ban, which offers no exemptions, and all individual county burn bans remain in effect through the weekend.
Burn bans mean no outdoor burning is allowed. That includes: campfires, bonfires, fire pits, fire rings, fireworks, burn barrels, brush piles, debris burning, field burning and anything else that could produce an ember with potential to start a wildfire.
The penalty for anyone who knowingly and willingly burns during a ban is a misdemeanor and may be fined no less than $100 and no more than $500.