Be mindful of county burn ban still in place

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As fall starts to fade into winter, much of Mississippi continues to maintain burn bans, including Pearl River County.

Over the weekend, county fire departments responded to several brush fires caused by the dry weather. Despite small patches of rainfall, it hasn’t been enough to reduce the likelihood of fires.

It’s important to remember that seemingly small actions could have a large and damaging effect. Even something as simple as throwing a lit cigarette onto a patch of dry grass could cause a massive fire.

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Improper heating equipment is also a way house fires occur. Any type of fire can spread in moments, especially during a drought.

The burn ban was implemented to prohibit outdoor burning of any kind.

Even if you have an outdoor fireplace or pit, embers from those fires could cause a grass or woods fire and fines could be levied. Outdoor barbeques could also pose a serious threat. When planning holiday meals, make sure to take extra precautions.

When grilling, keep a hose or a bucket of water close by and keep a constant watch on the flames. One dropped coal on a pile of dry leaves or pine straw could start a fire and spread to other areas of the yard or home.

Cooking indoors could also pose a threat. A grease fire is a tricky battle to fight. 

Cooking holiday meals usually includes greasy foods that can catch fire and can only be extinguished by smothering the flame or using the appropriate extinguisher. 

Be sure to keep festive candles out of reach of children and far away from flammable decorations. Keeping your Christmas tree watered will help ensure it stays moist, reducing the risk of fire. Make sure lights wrapped around the tree don’t get too hot, and the tree stands away from heat sources, electronics, fireplaces or candles. 

Before lighting a flame, be sure to stop and think about any possible ways that it could spread.