Don't burn, officials urge

Officials with the Mississippi Forestry Commission say the hot dry weather is increasing the number of wildfires.

Forestry officials say in the month of August 169 wildfires have scorched over 2,000 acres. They say weather conditions are one reason the numbers are up, but that's not the only problem.

"The fires that get started usually spread rapidly and that's due to the wind picking up, and people just not being careful when they're doing their outdoor burning," says the commission's Ed Brown.

Brown says burning debris is the number one cause of wildfires, and folks can help prevent them.

"We're just asking people at this time, if you don't have a burn ban in your county, is to not to do any outdoor burning," he says. "Just wait til we start getting a normal rainfall pattern to set back in."

Brown says if you have to burn debris, do not leave the fire alone, and watch it very closely even after it goes out because it can rekindle.

Eight counties in the state have issued burn bans, but none are in the Pine Belt area.