No burn ban in effect, but caution urged

Published 2:29 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

Although it’s dry throughout the state, there are no burn bans in effect, but fire officials cautioned residents to be careful with fire because of the dry fields and woods.

Albert Lee, Pearl River County fire marshal, said on Thursday that the only big wild fire  the county has experienced was in the buffer zone off Ridge Road near Picayune. Officials last week got that under control, he said.

However, Lee said that volunteer fire departments throughout Pearl River County have been hit with a series of calls for small grass fires, and so far, the county has been lucky — none have gotten out of control.

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“Every department has been called out on grass fires,” Lee said. “We want citizens to be very cautions with fire right now, although there are no burn bans in effect.”

Pearl River County has 12 volunteer fire departments scattered throughout the county.

He said he had heard, but had not verified, that the Mississippi Forestry Service had moved the draught line further south and that might affect Pearl River County.

The State Forestry Commission issues burn bans in counties and coordinates the designation with boards of supervisors. Supervisors have to request a burn ban before it’s issued by the forestry service.

“Even if we put in a burn ban, people are going to burn,” said Lee. “It’s hard to control, and Pearl River County is so big, it’s hard to get the word to people about any ban that might be imposed.”

“It is awfully dry, so residents should exercise extreme precaution on this matter, “ said Lee.