Burn bans remain in effect in the Pine Belt: What you need to know

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 12:02 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Much of the state is still under a burn ban, including the Pine Belt.

According to the Mississippi Forestry Commission, many of the burn bans will stay in effect until further notice.

The August, Miss. Gov. Tate Reeves signed a proclamation initiating a partial statewide burn ban.

Normally, the County Board of Supervisors requests burn bans, and the Mississippi Forestry Commission approves the requests.

Local sheriff’s departments enforce the bans. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates a burning ban is guilty of a misdemeanor. These persons may receive a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500, according to Mississippi code as amended.

Those with exemptions from a burn ban include:

  • Mississippi Forestry Commission
  • Certified Burn Managers
  • County Fire Services
  • Commercial contractors with heavy construction equipment, providing that said burn meets Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) regulations. Read MDEQ’s open burning regulations on their website
  • Agricultural field burn
  • Other

Anything with an open flame that produces an ember is not allowed during a burn ban. The wind can carry floating embers away from the original fire and start a spot fire up to one-half mile away from the burning area. This includes:

What is Not Allowed During a Burn Ban

  • Campfires
  • Bonfires
  • Fire pits
  • Fire rings
  • Burn barrels
  • Debris burning
  • Field burning

What is Allowed During a Burn Ban

  • Propane / Gas grills
  • Propane / Gas heaters
  • Charcoal grills

The public is advised to use these items as described by their manufacturer, safely away from combustible materials, and never left unattended. Dispose of them properly after use.

Charcoal grill briquettes are of great concern. After use, always let the coals cool completely and douse them in water before disposing of them in a metal container. The residual ash should be cold to the touch before disposal.

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