Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis issue citywide burn bans; All of South Mississippi under a red flag warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for South Mississippi due to...
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for South Mississippi due to dry conditions, high winds, and no rain in the forecast.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:27 PM CDT
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - While all of South Mississippi is currently under a Red Flag Warning for dangerous burning conditions, at least two coast cities have taken the extra step of issuing citywide burn bans.

Pascagoula and Bay St. Louis on Wednesday issued burn bans due to dry conditions, high winds, and no rain in the forecast.

Bay St. Louis Fire Chief Monty Strong said in a statement, “Any person who knowingly and willfully violates a burn ban is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined no less than $100 and no more than $500.”

The burn ban is in effect until further notice. To report someone burning in Bay St. Louis, you’re asked to call (228) 467-4736. In Pascagoula, the number is (228) 762-3066. (In the case of a fire emergency, call 911.)

You can still use a gas or charcoal grill while under a burn ban, but they should be located safely away from combustible materials and never left unattended.

“If they are not disposed of properly after use, charcoal grill briquettes are of great concern,” Strong said. “After use, always let the coals cool completely and douse in water before disposing of them in a metal container. The residual ash should be cold to the touch before disposal.”

What’s NOT allowed? Campfires, bonfires, fire pits, fire rings, burn barrels, debris burning, field burning. Basically, anything with an open flame that produces an ember.

“The wind can carry floating embers away from the original fire and start a spot fire up to one-half mile away from the burning area,” Strong said.

Waveland is also asking residents to avoid outside burning for the next few days, but stopped short of issuing a burn ban. Fire officials say they’re monitoring conditions daily and may issue a burn ban if they feel it necessary.

The Red Flag Warning comes from the National Weather Service and means that the combination of low humidity and high winds are conducive for wildfires.

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