Statewide wildfire risk alert issued

Published 5:29 pm Monday, October 17, 2022

The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) has issued a statewide Wildland Fire Alert, effective immediately.

MFC encourages the public to postpone unnecessary outdoor burning activities until drought conditions improve. The state has experienced little to no rainfall over the last few weeks. As a result, the MFC has responded to 227 wildfires, with 3032 acres burned since Sept. 15, 2022.

These conditions, combined with the high winds and low humidity expected from the approaching dry cold fronts, create an increased risk for devastating wildland fires.

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Currently, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, Copiah, Humphreys, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Marion, Noxubee, Panola, Pike, Pontotoc, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Union, Walthall, Washington, and Yazoo counties have burn bans.

Checj periodically, as this list is continuously updated.

“Until the wildfire conditions improve, we ask everyone to use caution while doing outdoor activities and be mindful of all ignition sources,” the alert said.

The following should be followed when it is safe to have an outdoor fire:

• Check with local authorities to make sure there are no local restrictions on burning currently in place

• Do not burn on windy days

• Stay abreast of changing weather conditions

• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around your fire

• Keep fire containment equipment on hand during the fire (e.g., rake, shovel, water)

• Stay with the fire until it is completely out.

If you spot a wildfire, report it immediately by dialing 911, or contact MFC Dispatch at 1-833-MFC-FIRE (1-833-632-3473).