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Governor Tate Reeves Proclaims March as Mississippi Wildfire Prevention Month

Governor Tate Reeves recently signed a proclamation to declare March as “Wildfire Prevention Month” in Mississippi to combat the heightened risk of wildfires during the transition from winter to spring. The proclamation aims to raise awareness about each Mississippian’s significant role in protecting the state’s forests, homes, and lives by focusing on prevention. The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) will spearhead a statewide media campaign throughout the month to help spread the message.

In March, Mississippi traditionally experiences a spike in wildfire occurrence due to dry vegetation, windy conditions, and the seasonal transition. Wildfire Prevention Month serves as a crucial reminder of the responsibility shared by citizens to mitigate these risks and prevent potential disasters.

As the primary state agency entrusted with monitoring, detecting, and suppressing wildfires day and night, the MFC and its Wildland Firefighters work long hours in demanding and dangerous conditions to protect lives, homes, and natural resources.

Since the beginning of this fiscal year (July 1st), MFC Wildland Firefighters and their partners have successfully contained 2,164 wildfires, which burned over 42,991 acres. Approximately 4,003 residences, commercial buildings, and other structures were saved from wildfires.

Russell Bozeman, MFC State Forester, stated that human activities are the leading cause of wildfires in Mississippi. “Most fires are human-caused. Our state’s leading origin of wildfires is escaped debris burns, and with a few simple steps, these fires could have been prevented,” remarked Bozeman.

To aid in preventing wildfires, the MFC urges citizens to:

  • Check for local or statewide burn bans at
  • Monitor the local weather forecast and refrain from burning on dry, windy days.
  • Select a secure burn site away from flammable materials and surround it with bare dirt or gravel.
  • Burn only untreated wood debris; plastic, rubber tires, or other manufactured materials may not be burned.
  • Always have a nearby water source.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.

Bozeman added, “Mississippi’s 19.1 million acres of forestland are vital to the health and well-being of the state. The MFC would like to thank Gov. Reeves for his proclamation, and we ask all Mississippians to be responsible when burning on their property. Remember, only YOU can prevent wildfires.”

To report a wildfire, call 833-MFC-FIRE (833-632-3473). Contact law enforcement if you suspect someone is violating local burn bans or burning prohibited items. For additional wildfire prevention information, follow @MSForestryComm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.