Rain turns yards green, reduces fire danger

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - All this wet weather is helping brown lawns turn green.  It's also reducing fire danger in the woods of South Mississippi.

The rainfall is certainly a welcome sight for both gardeners and firefighters.

Thirsty lawns and flower gardens are soaking in the showers, while those who've battled wildfires this year are thankful for some relief.

The steady rainfall may not erase the rain deficit caused by the stubborn drought.  But it's certainly a welcome start.

"This rain that we're getting here over the last couple of days is going to do wonders for our landscapes. They're going to be looking good," said Southern Gardening host Gary Bachman.

Bachman says flowers, plants and lawns welcome this watering from Mother Nature.

"This rain over the past few days, it's soaking in. It's really saturating the top area, the root zone of these plants. And they're going to be loving this," he said.

Flowers and trees are showing new life.   Even the once-brown lawns are quickly greening-up.

"We'll see when we get those hot, drought periods in the summer where our lawns will go brown. Well, they're not dying, they're actually going dormant, waiting for events like this. And they will green-up very quickly," he said.

No one is perhaps more thankful to see this rain than coast firefighters.

Before the rainfall began, the stubborn drought kept the fire danger high and kept firefighters busy battling numerous wildfires.

While the rain has certainly knocked down the fire danger for now, fire officials remain cautious.

"Just because we got a significant amount of rain in a short period of time, which is good, we still have the potential if we don't get any more rain for the next two or three weeks, we could be in the same situation," said Pat Sullivan, director of Harrison County's fire services, "It won't take long if we go back to 90 degree heat and the high humidity, if we have that for an extended period of time, we'll be right back where we are."

Sullivan says it's likely Harrison County will remove the burn ban.   He'll first consult the state forestry commission before making that call.

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