Fires continue to spread across Mississippi under several county burn bans

Many of these bans were placed at the beginning of October

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – More than half the counties across the state are under burn bans due to the harsh drought conditions.

While many of these bans were placed at the beginning of October, fire stations continue to receive calls about fires that have grown out of control.

Seven counties in the WCBI viewing area are currently under burn bans.

Fire coordinator Evan Adams said while that ban is currently effective in Monroe County, fire stations in the area continue to be called to put out the flames.

“We have seen a lot of fire that has started as controlled burns that got out. These are in direct violation of the burn ban and these homeowners and landowners need to know it’s at the discretion of the Sheriff’s department but they can be issued a citation for those,” Adams said.

Any outdoor burning, unless controlled by the Mississippi Forestry Commission, is illegal during a burn ban.

“The conditions are very dry in our county. We’ve had very little rain in the last several months and this just creates a problem for fires. Fires are started very quickly and fires that are out there that do get started spread very quickly with these dry conditions,” Adams said.

These burn bans can stretch departments, especially since many of them are volunteers.

“A lot of these fires require more than one department to assist to get them extinguished. Valuable resources are tied up with grass fires and wood fires and if there were to be another call such as a house fire a lot of these resources are already expended and can just delay response which is very taxing on the firemen and many of them are volunteers,” Adams said.

While fall usually marks the start of the burning season, these protocols are implemented to keep everyone safe.

“Burn bans are put in place for safety reasons to protect property. We ask folks not to burn until this is lifted. People realize real quick once they start a fire how quickly it can spread,” Adams said.

Monroe County’s burn ban is expected to expire at the end of the month. However, it could be revised based on conditions.

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