Despite a few isolated showers and storms, the state is still experiencing a drought, making it more susceptible to wildfires. With Labor Day approaching, MFC officials said it’s crucial to be cautious and refrain from any unnecessary burning.
Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) signed a partial state-level burn ban proclamation to combat the increasing number of wildfires in Mississippi. The ban covers 40 counties, including the MFC regions 3 and 4. In addition, three other counties, including Humphreys, Oktibbeha, and Sunflower, are under burn bans.
Since August 1, the MFC has responded to more than 430 wildfires that burned more than 8,700 acres statewide. According to officials, the most susceptible areas to wildfire are currently on the coast and some areas in Central Mississippi.
The MFC’s Incident Management Team (IMT) is set up in Wiggins to coordinate operations. MFC team members are working with local, state, and federal partners to pool resources for the most susceptible areas to wildfire.
“We urge everyone to be cautious during the holiday weekend and continue to follow the burn ban guidelines to prevent any further wildfires,” said Russell Bozeman, State Forester. “By coordinating efforts and resources, MFC and the IMT aim to enhance the overall response capabilities and effectively manage wildfires.”
The National Fire Protection Association provided some safety tips, including:
- REMOVE leaves, pine needles, and other flammable material from the roof, gutters, and on and under the deck to help prevent embers from igniting your home.
- SCREEN areas below decks and porches with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent material from accumulating underneath.
- COVER exterior attic and soffit vents with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent sparks from entering your home.
- ENCLOSE eaves to help prevent ember entry.
- INSPECT shingles or roof tiles. REPLACE missing shingles or tiles. COVER ends of tiles with bird stops or cement to help prevent ember penetration during a wildfire.
Tips for Landscaping Around Your Home:
- REMOVE dead vegetation and other flammable materials, especially within the first 5 feet of the home.
- KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to help reduce fire intensity.
- PRUNE tree limbs so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet above the ground to help reduce the chance of fire getting into the crowns of the trees.
- MOVE construction material, trash, and woodpiles at least 30 feet away from the home and other outbuildings.
- DISPOSE of branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings that you have cut to reduce fuel for fire