Wildfires occur year-round in Mississippi. The Mississippi Forestry Commission responded to and suppressed 2,318 wildfires that burned 33,574 acres in Fiscal Year 2017. As dry cold fronts begin to move through Mississippi this fall, it is important to be aware of the potential for increased wildfire activity.
Report A Wildifre
To report a wildfire in the state of Mississippi, call 1-833-MFC-FIRE (1-833-632-3473). The statewide wildfire reporting number allows people to quickly request emergency wildfire assistance from the Mississippi Forestry Commission, which will dispatch the necessary wildfire suppression resources to the appropriate location.
“Having one easy-to-remember phone number streamlines the wildfire reporting process for the public and our emergency management partners,” said Randy Giachelli, Fire Chief, Mississippi Forestry Commission. “The same number can also be used to obtain a burning permit anywhere in Mississippi.”
Wildfires in Mississippi Are Often Human-Caused
Last year, the majority of wildfires in Mississippi were caused by people burning debris that escaped control. A small spark can start a large wildfire when conditions are dry and windy. Check your local weather forecast – do not burn on dry, windy days. The wind carries embers long distances, causing new spot fires as far away as one-half mile from the burning area.
“Nationwide, nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are human-caused, which means 9 out of 10 wildfires could have been prevented with proper care,” said Charlie Morgan, State Forester, Mississippi Forestry Commission. “Sadly, debris burns that escaped control were the number one cause of wildfires in Mississippi last year.”
Wildfires are known to move at speeds of up to 14 miles per hour – quickly endangering lives, homes, and natural resources. The best way to prevent devastating wildfire occurrences is never to let one start.