Burn bans active across Mississippi
UPDATE: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Mississippi under statewide burn ban
Jackson, Miss. – At the request and advice of the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a proclamation initiating a statewide burn ban, effective immediately. The burn ban will remain in place until further notice.
“Much of the state is experiencing significant drought conditions,” said MFC state forester Russell Bozeman. “Almost half of Mississippi’s 82 counties have implemented burn bans due to the extremely dry conditions.”
From September 1 – September 30, MFC wildland firefighters responded to and suppressed 239 wildfires that burned approximately 4,200 acres throughout the state. These fires have threatened hundreds of homes and buildings, destroying seven.
“With the current drought conditions and little rainfall in the forecast, we appreciate Gov. Bryant implementing this statewide burn ban in order protect the public,” Bozeman said. “The MFC will continue to monitor conditions and provide the public with updates on the burn ban as needed.”
Under a statewide burn ban, outdoor burning of any kind is prohibited. Persons caught violating a burn ban can be fined, as well as be held responsible for any damages caused from a fire.
To report a wildfire, call 911 or contact MFC’s Central Dispatch at 877-MFC-FIRE.
To learn more about wildfire prevention, visit mfc.ms.gov, or like and follow @MSForestryComm on Facebook and Twitter.
At the request of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Jasper County.
UPDATE: Tuesday, October 1, 2019
At the request of the Kemper County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Kemper County.
At the request of the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Chickasaw County.
At the request of the George County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for George County.
At the request of the Benton County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Benton County.
At the request of the Yalobusha County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Yalobusha County.
At the request of the Smith County Board of Supervisors, the MFC has approved a burn ban for Smith County.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) has approved burn bans for Hinds, Jefferson, Madison, Scott and Wayne counties.
There are now 30 counties with approved burn bans in place. No outdoor burning of any kind is permitted in areas under a burn ban. Individuals caught violating a burn ban can face a fine of up to $500.
UPDATE: Monday, September 30, 2019
Panola County burn ban has been approved by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Tallahatchie County burn ban approved by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
More county burn bans approved
The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) has approved burn bans for Amite, Itawamba, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Pontotoc, Walthall and Webster counties.
There are now 23 counties with approved burn bans in place. No outdoor burning of any kind is permitted in areas under a burn ban. Individuals caught violating a burn ban can face a fine of up to $500.
Marion and Walthall counties burn ban approved until October 30.
Pontotoc County burn ban approved, effective until November 4.
Burn bans approved for Pike and Webster counties.
Burn ban for Jefferson Davis County has been approved.
UPDATE: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 3 p.m.
Four more countywide burn bans have been approved by the MIssissippi Forestry Commission.
Burn bans have been approved for the following counties:
Visit www.mfc.ms.gov/burn-bans for a complete list of active burn bans.
There are currently nine active burn bans in counties across Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC).
Counties under a burn ban include:
The MFC uses the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) to assess the risk for potential wildfires. The KBDI attempts to measure the amount of precipitation, in inches, necessary to return the soil to full field capacity. Currently, the entire state is over 600 on the KBDI, with parts of the state over 700. This means that six to seven inches of rain are needed to bring soil moisture conditions back to normal.
“Because of the dry conditions across the state, we have gotten requests from a number of county boards of supervisors to enact burn bans,” said MFC state forester Russell Bozeman. “A burn ban means outdoor burning of any kind is prohibited.”
Burn bans are requested by the county board of supervisors and approved by MFC. Typical burn bans are effective for one month and expire at midnight on the stated date of expiration. Burn bans are enforced by the local sheriff’s department.
“Under state law, any person who knowingly and willfully violates a burn ban is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined up to $500,” Bozeman said.
The MFC is urging the public to use extreme caution when starting outdoor fires. Any spark or ember can start a wildfire. Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of wildfire.
- Check for city and county burn bans. Additional burn ban information can be found at www.mfc.ms.gov/burn-bans. Check with local government for city burn bans.
- Do not burn on windy days.
- If you start a fire, do not leave the flame unattended.
- Make sure coals are cool to the touch. This indicates the fire is completely out.
- Wait until after a rain event before doing any outdoor burning.
“Being aware of the current conditions is the best way people can keep themselves and their property safe,” said Bozeman. “If there is any question on whether you should or shouldn’t burn, choose to wait.”
Under the current conditions, Smokey Bear’s words, “Only you can prevent wildfires,” are good advice for all Mississippians to follow.