JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Nearly 24 hours after a Laurel landfill caught fire, smoke still filled the air as far south as Purvis. Nearly 80 acres of wood chips, stumps, and limbs are still burning. While the case of this fire is still under investigation, Jones County Management Director Don McKinnon said anyone caught burning will have a steep fine to pay.
McKinnon said, "People out there we think that this burn ban doesn't apply to them, need to think again. Because if we see smoke, we are sending a deputy and we sending the fire department. The fire will be put out. You will be issued a citation and you will be responsible for any cost that occurs even the cost for putting the fire out."
McKinnon said, tossing cigarette butts or simply lighting a grill is very dangerous when under a burn ban. He said, a fire can get out control and spread beyond the 80 acres.
"Watch the news, we don't want to be like California with all the smoke going up in the sky and fires burning out of control all over the state and all over the county," said McKinnon. "We don't want to be that way, so by all means pay attention. And you could loss a life, you could somebody that in a car and the smoke that is covering the road, they can have a car accident. I mean it is just a very serious, serious, situation."
A statewide burn ban is now in effect, after 600 acres burned in Madison County. The fire forced evacuations of homes and businesses. Also over a million dollars worth of timber burned in Newton County this past weekend. The statewide ban remains in effect until further notice, and violators could be fined up to $500.00.