By Bert Case - bio | email
MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The extremely dry conditions in Mississippi have come earlier than normal this year. As a result, nine counties across the state have implemented burn bans.
The bans stretch from Panola and Pontotoc Counties in the north, all the way down to Hinds and Lauderdale counties in Central Mississippi. Hinds is the only metro county affected, at this time.
There were six forest fires in Madison county alone Thursday. This is the only one that was still burning Friday. It is in extreme northeastern Madison County near Farmville on Acy Minter Road. It was pretty much contained by the time we got there.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission, through spokesman Bill Kitchings, a Public Outreach Forester, says the fire season is much earlier than normal this year because of the drought.
"Typically our normal fire season starts, ah October, well with the first chilling frost we have, this year things are starting to dry up before that,"said Outreach Forester, Bill Kitchings.
Up in Madison County Emergency Operations Director Butch Hammack, hopes his county will declare a burn ban, because of what has happened Thursday and Friday.
There is no fire ban in the county.
"...This time of the year don't burn unless you have to," said Hammack.
Al Gerard, meteorologist in charge of the Jackson office of the National Weather Service is afraid the rain forecast for the weekend my move more to the east into Alabama. We asked him to sum up the drought problem on a scale of one to ten.
"I would say right now it's probably at a six. And if we don't get much rain over the weekend, it would be more up into that eight range," Gerard said.
The key to the fire danger will be how much rain we get this weekend. If that rain should move away from us and say go into Alabama, then it would really become severe, according to the national weather service.