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Supervisors order burn ban for county

With drought conditions continuing, Lincoln County has beenplaced under a burn ban following Tuesday action by the board ofsupervisors and the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

Supervisors Tuesday morning requested the ban and it wasapproved yesterday afternoon by the state forestry commission, saidClifford Galey, Lincoln County Civil Defense Director. The ban willbe in effect until at least Oct. 2.

“People need to be extremely careful,” Galey said. “Some of thefires in the county have apparently been from people throwingcigarette butts out windows.”

Galey said the ban includes a stop on all outside burning andthere is a fine of $100 to $500 for violation of ban provisions.The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Brookhaven PoliceDepartment will enforce the ban.

With the city already having rules against burning, BrookhavenFire Department Chief Paul Cartwright said the ban is now in effectcountywide. He also urged citizens to use caution where there is apotential for fires.

“Be real careful about what you’re doing,” Cartwright saidduring Tuesday’s meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen.

Woods and grass fires in the county have been keeping volunteerfire departments and forestry commission officials busy, Galeysaid.

In August, Galey said, volunteer departments have responded to28 woods or grass fires. That represents big increases from August1999’s seven grass fires and August 1998’s 16 fires.

Since last Thursday, Galey said the volunteer departments hadresponded for 14 separate incidents. Galey said the county would bein a bind without the volunteer firefighters’ services and theforestry commission.

“Most have been put out quickly and not gotten out of hand,”Galey said about the fires.

Galey urged citizens to report fires to 911 as soon as they seeone.

While temperatures have dipped below triple digits in recentdays, Galey said fire dangers remain.

“Even though the temperature has fallen, the humidity is alsofalling and winds are up,” Galey said. “Therefore, it’s going tocontinue to dry things out.”

District 4 Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak, board president, urgedcitizens to take every precaution to prevent fires.

“This area and the rest of the state is facing a serioussituation with the drought the way it is,” Moak said.

The county has gone weeks without a significant rainfall. Galeysaid that is the only answer to solving the county’s droughtconditions.

“Until we get some significant rainfall, the situation is notgoing to get any better,” Galey said.