South MS supervisors to take a look at fireworks

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Two South Mississippi counties will take a look at whether or not to extend the burn ban on Monday, and supervisors say that won't be the only drought related issue on the table. Both the Jackson County and Harrison County board presidents say the possibility of putting restrictions on where fireworks can be used is expected to come up.

The flames are long gone but the smell of burned pine needles and charred underbrush still lingers in the air in Jackson County after a massive woods fire. With no end to the drought in sight, supervisors say they're worried.

"You're always on edge when it's this dry," said Jackson County Supervisor Melton Harris. "You can throw a cigarette out the window and it could ignite within a few seconds, it doesn't take much."

This time of year being popular for fireworks is adding to concerns. South Mississippi leaders say state law doesn't allow them to prohibit a licensed business from selling fireworks. However, supervisors are looking to see what they're options are as far as restricting where the public can set off fireworks.

"I would prefer to see that it's in a very controlled type environment where to minimize the possibility of having a fire," said Harris. "Beach areas, clean any area where dry vegetation has been moved away. "

Harrison County Board President Windy Swetman said, "We're going to talk about the burn ban and the likelihood is it will be extended. Fireworks, we're also going to discuss. For now we're just urging precaution and safety, but that could depend on the conditions. We're talking to the fire marshal about it.

Kelly Shill and her friend stopped by a fireworks stand on Saturday. She says because of the burn ban, she'll be playing it safe this year.

"Plan to do it on the beach over there where we've go the sand to protect and the water," Shill said.

Hancock County Emergency Management Director Brian Adam said his staff is still deciding whether to ask the Board of Supervisors to extend the burn ban at its next meeting on Wednesday.

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