Fire danger persists through Wednesday, drought lingers

Published 3:11 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Fires are still a concern for Lincoln County. Burn ban conditions and drought conditions have not improved and one spark could quickly grow into a dangerous wildfire.

Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Reid said they responded to several small fires over the weekend. Thankfully, none of them grew bigger than a few acres in size.

A majority of Mississippi’s counties remain under a burn ban until further notice including Lincoln County. Open burning is discouraged and any violations of the burn ban will result in a citation. People who start fires during a burn ban, or any time, are liable for damages caused to other property.

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Fire threat is greatest in the afternoon with low humidity, breezy winds and dry conditions making a perfect storm. It is likely the ongoing drought will continue to make things worse.

Ongoing drought

Lincoln County and Southwest Mississippi remain in exceptional drought conditions according to the United States Drought Monitor Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Over the last month conditions have not changed in Southwest Mississippi, likely due to the fact drought conditions can not get any worse here.

Lincoln County received less than a quarter inch of rain in October which is 25 percent or less of the normal rainfall for October. Stream flow has worsened to below normal levels. Bayou Pierre is stagnant and the only movement of the water is from Wood Ducks swimming up and down it.

NWS Jackson reports ponds are continuing to suffer with some worsening from low levels to dry. Soil moisture is ranked at a 1 percentile for Southwest Mississippi. Crop moisture is reported to be severely dry.

Effects of the drought on timber include mortality of young pine trees. NWS Jackson reports the supplemental feeding of cows began early. The hay crop suffered this year.

Significant wild land fire potential is reported to be extremely high by NWS Jackson and will likely continue through November.

Rain is a good thing

Luke Bryan’s country hit Rain is a Good Thing may be played on loop this week. NWS Jackson reports the best chance of rain in the seven day forecast is from November 9 to 10. Average rainfall amounts will be less than .10 inches and it is unlikely to provide any drought relief.

Thursday night has a 50 percent chance of rain followed by 70 percent chance of showers Friday and 40 percent chance of showers Friday night. A 20 percent chance of showers will follow Saturday and Sunday.

NWS Jackson forecasts over the next month a better chance for rainfall. Unfortunately the drought conditions will continue to persist.