Mississippi Forestry Commission partial-state burn ban

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Forestry Commission is working to prevent wildfires in the state.

In August, Governor Tate Reeves signed a partial-state-level burn ban proclamation.

That ban includes 40 counties throughout the Magnolia State.

In our viewing area, that ban covers Newton, Lauderdale, Clarke, Scott, and Jasper counties.

Allan Dover, the Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator, shares some tips to ensure your safety.

“While we’re under this ban, there needs to be no outside burning done whatsoever, none whatsoever. It’s going to get away from you, especially in the conditions that we’re having today. We’ve got some pretty good wind that’s blowing out there, so we’re going to know and you know, you can use that excuse. Hey, didn’t know we were under a burn ban. It’s being put out there. There’s a burn ban. So that excuse is really not going to hold water. And, if we go to your house multiple times, we’re bringing the Sheriff’s Department with us, when we come the next time. So save yourself some money, save yourself some headache. Don’t light anything on fire,” said Dover.

Dover explains why the burn ban was put in place.

“Truly, we need about two weeks of a slow soaking type of rain to where we can get back so that will come out of those drought levels under the burn ban. You can’t, you’re not supposed to light up a charcoal grill. There’s if it’s not a gas-powered grill, or if it’s not, say, a fire pit that is run off of propane, you’re not supposed to have that. The thing that people don’t take into mind with the grass fires, is if the grass and the fuels that are on the ground are that dry, your house is drying out at the same time. So, if you do decide to violate the burn ban and you’re caught, Sheriff’s Department can opt to site for that.”

Dover said there have been at least 20 fires in Lauderdale County so he urges the public to follow the burn ban to protect themselves, others and to avoid fines.