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Large portion of Mississippi under burn...

Large portion of Mississippi under burn ban

By: Jeremy Pittari - August 22, 2023

Partial statewide burn ban affects all counties in Regions 3 and 4.

The lower 40 counties in Mississippi are now under a partial statewide burn ban after Governor Tate Reeves issued the order over the weekend.

Kevin Kraft, Outreach Coordinator for the Mississippi Forestry Commission, Region 4, said that as of Monday, the state was under a red flag warning due to the ongoing dry conditions. The burn ban includes all counties in Regions 3 and 4.

“It only takes one spark to start a fire right now,” Kraft said. 

The state is currently under extreme drought conditions that haven’t been seen in this area for many years, Kraft said. 

In preparation for any fires that may spout up, the Forestry Commission’s Incident Management team brought in 24 personnel from the northern portion of Mississippi to help with firefighting efforts.

Additionally, nine more bulldozers have been staged throughout the area to create fire breaks to keep forest fires under control. 

Current drought conditions are typically seen in October, Kraft said. 

“Right now we are noticing erractic and extreme fire behavior,” Kraft said.

The Governor’s press release lists the following counties as being included in the ban:  Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Issaquena, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson, and Yazoo.

Anyone who willingly burns during a burn ban can be fined between $100 to $500, according to state statute.

Kraft added that if the Mississippi Forestry Commission has to take action, “there could be a suppression charge for resources utilized on the suppression effort.”

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics.