Jackson, Miss. – On Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the request of the Rankin County Board of Supervisors, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) approved a county-wide burn ban, effective immediately.
The MFC approved the Rankin County burn ban due to the increase in wildfire activity, elevated drought conditions, dry vegetation and forecasted weather patterns. The current seven-day forecast does not predict significant rainfall large enough to pull the state out of the current drought.
“It is extremely dry across the entire state, and that elevates the risk of wildfires,” said MFC state forester Russell Bozeman. “We continue to ask Mississippians to use extreme caution when starting outdoor fires. Don’t burn on windy days. Check for local and countywide burn bans.”
A burn ban means no outdoor burning of any kind. Under state law, anyone caught burning during a burn ban may be fined up to $500. Individuals are also responsible for any damage caused by the flame or smoke from a fire they set. Burn bans are enforced by the local sheriff’s department.
Since September 9, MFC wildland firefighters have responded to 120 wildfires across the state that have burned approximately 2,100 acres.