Forester says dry conditions prompt burn bans

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A growing number of Mississippi counties are imposing burn bans because of a lack of substantial rainfall, a Mississippi Forestry Commission official says.

“Since the 10th of February, we’ve had a lot of windy days, high winds and low humidity,” said Ed Brown, public outreach forester with the commission.

About 3,000 wildfires have damaged more than 49,600 acres in Mississippi since July 1, Brown said.

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“Just for the month of March, 909 fires,” Brown said, adding the state lost 18,154 acres to the March blazes.

Brown said the number of counties imposing burn bans is increasing and he expects more counties to join the list if conditions don’t improve.

Brown said more than a light rain would be needed to ease the current threat of wildfires. He said as long as the ground stays dry, people should avoid burning.

“Just wait until we get a good rain,” he said. “Wait until we get a rain pattern of 3 to 4 inches over a seven-day period.”