Burn ban places stress on local fire departments

Burn ban places stress on local fire departments

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Local fire departments have received more calls about brush fires since Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statewide burn ban Tuesday.

"We do respond to a lot of fires from people burning, and people think that they're exempt from burning from a controlled environment," Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lee Garick said. "Like a fire pit or something in the backyard. And that's not the case it's not the fire that we're worried about getting out. It's the embers that are coming off of that fire that land in a tree or land in a dry field and then cause the field catch on fire."

Jones County Fire Chief Coordinator Dan McKenna said these calls have been very taxing for departments.

"Anytime you're responding to a burn ban violation or responding to a fire that escaped from a burn ban violation, it puts the other people in the community in jeopardy," McKenna said. "Particularly day time because of our illuminated number of personnel that are available to respond to the incident."

The Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department in Jones County has received more than 15 calls about brush fires this week alone.

"It's been fairly costly. Even though diesel fuel is down, we're still running more calls than we should be," McKenna said.

"You're not an exception to the rule," Garick said. "It's not for the state or local county to be difficult, it's to protect the community. And that's what are job is: to reserve life."

Fire fighters encourage the community to adhere by the burn ban regulations because simple burning can turn into a big problem.