Entire state of Mississippi placed under burn ban

The entire state of Mississippi has been placed under a burn ban as dry conditions persist. 

At the request and advice of the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), Governor 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 to 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. Anyone caught violating a burn ban can be fined up to $500, as well as be held responsible for any damages caused from a fire.

The MFC’s website provides a detailed list of prohibited activities during the ban.

Not allowed: Campfires, bonfires, fire pits, fire rings, burn barrels, debris burning, field burning – anything with an open flame that produces an ember. The wind can carry floating embers away from the original fire and start a spot fire up to one-half mile away from the burning area.

Allowed: Propane/ gas grills, propane/ gas heaters, and charcoal grills are allowed under burn bans. They should be used as described by their manufacturer’s instructions, located safely away from combustible materials, and never left unattended. If they are not disposed of properly after use, charcoal grill briquettes are of great concern. After use, always let the coals cool completely and douse in water before disposing of them in a metal container. The residual ash should be cold to the touch before disposal.

To report a wildfire, call 911 or contact MFC’s Central Dispatch at 877-MFC-FIRE.