Gov. Reeves lifts partial statewide burn ban; county burn bans remain
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - In consultation with the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Miss. Gov. Tate Reeves has lifted the partial statewide burn ban, effective Thursday.
Due to the amount of rainfall received in parts of the state over the last week, the state has seen a decrease in wildfire activity. As a result of the rainfall, and the current weather forecast, the MFC requested for the burn ban to be lifted.
The partial statewide burn ban had been in effect for nearly three months.
“Now, hopefully, the firefighters of the state, including the forestry commission firefighters, can kind of take a little breather and be able to regroup, because it’s been a stressful time for the fire service of the state,” said John Pope, president of the Mississippi Firefighters Association. “There’s been countless acres burned, but luckily, there have been countless structures that have been able to be saved during this. But, we just appreciate the public’s cooperation during this time and understand that these things are done to protect your property and protect you and we just want to make sure that everyone is safe at the end of the day.”
Pope said from July 1 through Oct. 31, firefighters across Mississippi worked more than 8,900 fire incidents. Of those, he says nearly 60% were woods, rubbish or debris fires.
There are 27 counties north of the Pine Belt that remain under burn bans that were enacted by local boards of supervisors.
Supervisors still have the ability to implement burn bans and have the option to lift current ones or allow them to expire.
Those counties include:
- Winston and
For the counties still under a burn ban, each board of supervisors will have the option to either lift their burn ban, allow it to expire on the predetermined deadline, or extend the ban.
The burn ban was a necessary tool to help protect property and lives during the extreme drought period. From August 1 to November 14, MFC wildland firefighters responded to 1,506 wildfire calls that burned approximately 21,919 acres throughout the state and were able to help save over 2,679 structures from damage or destruction.
The extent of damage would have been higher without the ban in place.
For the most up-to-date list of counties still under a burn ban, visit www.mfc.ms.gov/burn-bans.
The public should continue to check to see if their county is still under a burn ban. Violators of burn bans can be held responsible for flame and smoke damage caused by a fire they set.
Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2023 WDAM. All rights reserved.