Dangerous fire weather threat elevated in South Mississippi

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Fire is a useful tool for habitat management and timber management when the conditions are right. Dry, heat and windy conditions however can cause a fire to spread rapidly leading to an out of control wildfire.

National Weather Service in Jackson warns the weather this week could cause any fire to spread rapidly and they have issued a red flag warning discouraging open burning of any kind. Lincoln County and 40 other counties in Mississippi are under a burn ban with no exceptions from the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks issued a burn ban for state parks and fishing lakes in those burn ban areas. The United States Forestry Service has issued a similar burn ban for national forest land in the burn ban counties. The Homochitto National Forest is the closest US Forest Land to Lincoln County.

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Last week, a 150 acre wildfire burned in Lawerence County and another fire scorched 26 acres in West Lincoln near the attendance center. Nine out of 10 forest fires are caused by humans with the only natural fire starter being lighting strikes but those are extremely rare.

Remember to heed local burn bans, dispose of cigarettes properly and don’t let trailer chains drag along the roadway. The friction could cause a spark and ignite a fire. Only you can prevent wildfires.

Mississippi Forestry Commission fights wildfires with equipment such as dozers to create fire breaks and a torch to start backing fires to take away fuel from the fire. The commission will also use planes and many other tools to fight wildfires.