Foresters talk to land owners about safe controlled burns - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Foresters talk to land owners about safe controlled burns

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - With more people moving into rural areas, foresters say land owners need to be extra cautious about how and when they burn. On Saturday the Hancock-Harrison County Forestry and Wildlife Association held a prescribed burn workshop.

Panelists talked to private land owners about how removing underbrush reduces the chance of wildfires getting out of control, therefore, putting homes and lives at risk.

However, officials stressed that. people should know there is a right way and a wrong to do a controlled burn. Doing it the wrong way could put the community in danger.

"It used to be used just indiscriminate burning used to be done quite a bit 40, 50 years ago,"said Glenn Hughes, a forester for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

"That's not the way it is because communities are now more built up than ever," he said. "Smoke in particular is a problem. That's one of the big issues we're trying to deal with is how do you learn more about the weather so you can allow the smoke to get up and away from human populations so you can minimize the risks associated with prescribed burning. "

Judd Brooke owns more than 4,000 acres in Hancock County. "People need to go about it the right way. Certainly need to get the proper permit. "

"They need to be aware of the weather conditions, the relative humidity and such. Be sure they're burning safely," Brooke said. "More than anything the smoke management. You certainly don't want to put smoke on a highway and do anything that could cause somebody harm."

WLOX chief meteorologist Mike Reader was a guest speaker at the event. He talked about what types of weather conditions are suitable for controlled burns. @

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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