At the request of the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), Governor Phil Bryant has issued a partial state level burn ban. The partial state level burn ban is effective immediately for the following fifty-two (52) counties, and has no exemptions:
ADAMS, ALCORN, AMITE, ATTALA, BENTON, BOLIVAR, CARROLL, CLAY, CHICKASAW, CHOCTAW, COAHOMA, DESOTO, GRENADA, HINDS, HOLMES, HUMPHREYS, ISSAQUENA, ITAWAMBA, LAFAYETTE, LAUDERDALE, LEAKE, LEE, LEFLORE, LOWNDES, MADISON, MARSHALL, MONROE, MONTGOMERY, NESHOBA, NEWTON, NOXUBEE, OKTIBBEHA, PANOLA, PONTOTOC, PRENTISS, QUITMAN, RANKIN, SCOTT, SHARKEY, SUNFLOWER, TALLAHATCHIE, TATE, TIPPAH, TISHOMINGO, TUNICA, UNION, WARREN, WASHINGTON, WEBSTER, WINSTON, YALOBUSHA, YAZOO
The MFC requested the partial state level burn ban due to the increase in wildfire occurrences, elevated drought conditions, dry vegetation, and the forecasted weather patterns. The 7-day forecast does not predict significant rainfall large enough to pull the state out of the current drought. These conditions have created an increased risk for devastating wildfires.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for the counties listed is currently near or above 700 – the KBDI maximum value is 800. The link below shows a visual representation of the current drought conditions: https://www.wfas.net/index.php/keetch-byram-index-moisture–drought-49
In addition, the Southern Area Coordination Center has issued a Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory for Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and part of Georgia through October 21, 2016. “With the passage of Hurricane Matthew along the east coast relative humidity values are forecast to drop into the teens over this area. There will also be a high likelihood of gusty winds, especially along the western face of the Appalachian Mountains.”