78 Mississippi counties now under a burn ban - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

78 Mississippi counties now under a burn ban

Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Forestry Commission has re-issued a burn ban for Forrest County, bringing the total back up to 78 of 82 counties in Mississippi.

It's been almost a month under a nearly statewide burn ban, and officials say not heeding the warning is jeopardizing lives and property.

Complete burn ban list

It reports that 618 wildfires have burned more than 5,300 acres so far. Local law enforcement agencies have made no arrests.

Verbal warnings have been issued in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties where landowners say they were not aware of the burn bans. Officials said those fires have been started by people burning tree limbs and debris.

"Nine out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by people. They're caused by debris burning getting out of control or camp fires getting out of control," said Mississippi Forestry Commission Public Relations Director Brighton Forester. "So it's really important people just do not burn anything".

Here in the south barbecuing will being going on for weeks to come. Gas heaters, gas, propane and charcoal grilling are allowed under this burn ban, but officials said embers from charcoal briquettes can travel up to half a mile if picked up by the wind.

"Make sure it is completely cool, wet and not hot at all to the touch," added Forester. "We actually responded to a fire a couple of years back that was caused by someone disposing of those improperly and it wound up causing a large wildfire in their back yard." 

Burning of any kind is prohibited, this includes anything with an open flame from campfires to brush piles.

The agency is using local media, TV and newspapers, as well as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the burn ban.

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