Fire danger increases in Mississippi

Published 9:46 am Monday, August 21, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Lawrence County Fire Services responded to four fires and assisted with a fire in Lincoln County Sunday. Mississippi Forestry Commission has issued a burn ban for counties across South Mississippi. National Weather Service in Jackson warns the fire danger increased today.

Sunday’s fires come after 150 acres burned in Lawrence County near US84 and Hwy. 27 Thursday afternoon. The same day, a fire burned in a pine stand near West Lincoln Attendance Center consuming 26 acres.

NWS Jackson reports the fire danger is at an elevated threat and open burning is discouraged for Lincoln and Lawerence Counties. People should heed local burn bans in those counties, dispose of cigarette butts properly and don’t let trailer chains drag on the roadways as just one spark could set fire to any dry fuel nearby.

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NWS Jackson issued a red flag warning for Lincoln County today due to wind forecasted to reach 15 mph and gusts as high as 20 mph could help a fire spread quickly. According to the warning, “A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.”

Burn bans are in place for 40 of the 82 counties in Mississippi as of August 19. There are no exemptions for those burn bans. Gov. Tate Reeves said the bans will stay in place indefinitely.

Rainfall is not in the forecast. August has been severely dry with just .01 inches of rain recorded and just 8.97 inches of rain recorded since June 1. The average amount of rainfall for August is 2.17 inches of rain. Last year, August saw 4.49 inches of rain.