Fire coordinator reminding people to use common sense during cold front

Fire coordinator reminding people to use common sense during cold front
No burn ban expected. Photo credit WDAM.

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The cold front has people worried about a potential burn ban, but officials said there's nothing to worry about.

Jones County Volunteer Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna detailed the process of issuing a burn ban.

"The first thing we're looking at is the weather conditions," McKenna said. "How much precipitation have we had over a certain period? What's the humidity going to be? It's about all of those acting together along with the wind."

The department first has to take the request to the Board of Supervisors, and then the board sends the request to the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

McKenna said he would rather not issue a burn ban because it can encourage people to burn more.

"Initially, in the burn ban as soon as people here it, they want to hurry up and get everything done," he said. "So, we're chasing few fires in the initial stages."

There's another problem that McKenna is worried about, and it involves the use of heating devices. So far, McKenna has seen fires caused by improper use.

"You want to actually take a look at using some common-sense approaches," McKenna said. "If your pipes freeze, don't take a blow torch and try to thaw them out. We recently had a fire where that was the result."