No burning, no exceptions in Brookhaven, Lincoln County

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Since the latter part of July, Brookhaven Fire Chief Jeff Ainsworth has not granted any burn permits. He says he will not until the area has received enough rain to warrant permitting burning.

“It’s too dry, and fires can get out of hand quickly,” Ainsworth said. “Please, don’t burn anything.”

On Monday, Aug. 14, the Mississippi Forestry Commission and Lincoln County Board of Supervisors issued a county-wide ban which will be in effect until Sept. 4.

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“We have extremely dry conditions and no rain in the forecast,” said Chris Reid, Lincoln County’s Emergency Management Director.

The complete ban applies to burning of any kind, and no exceptions will be issued, Reid said.

The Forestry Commission has approved 18 burn bans for counties statewide. The supervisors of each county request a ban, which is then approved by MFC. Bans have been approved for Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin, Amite, Pike, Walthall, Adams, Hancock, Jefferson Davis, Marion, Pearl River, Covington, Jasper, Jones, Rankin, Simpson, Smith and Wayne counties.

“Typically, wildfires pick up in Mississippi in September and October, but we are seeing earlier activity due to very dry, hot, and windy weather conditions,” said MFC State Forester Russell Bozeman.

The MFC approved the burn bans due to increased wildfire activity, elevated drought conditions, dry vegetation, and forecasted weather patterns. The current seven-day forecast does not predict significant rainfall large enough to pull the state out of the current drought.

“Since Aug. 1, MFC wildland firefighters have responded to more than 150 wildfire calls across the state that have burned nearly 3,500 acres,” Bozeman said. “Because of the lack of rainfall the state has seen over the past month, and the current forecast, the threat of wildfire is elevated across the state.”

A burn ban means no outdoor burning of any kind. Under state law, anyone caught burning during a burn ban may be fined up to $500. Individuals are also responsible for any damage caused by the flame or smoke from a fire they set. Even if a county is not under a burn ban, MFC cautions it is still essential to refrain from burning outdoors under the current weather conditions.

For more information about active burn bans, visit