Dry conditions raise wildfire dangers

Dry conditions raise wildfire dangers

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A lack of rain and plenty of fuel to burn has Mississippi Forestry officials concerned as we move through the fall months. The Forestry Commission has worked four fires this week, including an 11-acre blaze in George County. It's slow for this time of year, but they expect things to pick up.

Jackson County Service Forester Sam Morgan said more rain this past summer has led to more growth, and that means more fuel for fires once they get started.

"Fire conditions are currently elevated. We are concerned about the dry weather and lack of rain. Wildfires are probably going to be pretty predominant throughout the fall," Morgan said. "It's been unusually quiet, but predictive services are predicting an above average fire season."

Fifty two counties in Mississippi are currently under a burn ban because of dry conditions. Morgan said those bans could soon extend to the lower counties as well, but there are ways to prevent accidental fires, especially during dangerous conditions.

"If they could call 911 and report the location, and then it will progress down the line. If the fire department sees a need for the forestry department or a tractor plow to come, then we'll be in route also," said Morgan. "I'd just like to caution people to be careful with their outdoor burning, chains on trailers can often spark a fire, things of that nature, fireworks."

Morgan stresses most wildfires are man-made and are often sparked unintentionally.

You can find a complete list of which counties are currently under a burn ban at the Mississippi Forestry Commission website.

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