Burn ban lifted statewide; county residents urged to remember fire safety

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A statewide burn ban in Mississippi has been lifted.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission said Mississippians are encouraged to continue to use caution when burning outdoors.

On April 9, Governor Tate Reeves signed a proclamation initiating a statewide burn ban, with no exemptions, effective immediately.

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Panola County Emergency Operations Director  Daniel Cole said last week when the order was issued that county volunteer departments and other officials would follow the Governor’s burn ban and spread the word to anyone burning brush or leaves, but he also questioned  whether the order was good for North Mississippi counties.

Cole said this is the time of year when he and other emergency response officials in Panola County think property owners should be burning piles of limbs, leaves, and fields where needed. Cole said because so much of the new growth grass is green and full of moisture it helps contain burn piles and keeps fire from spreading.

Later in the year when summer’s heat and dry conditions have taken most of the moisture from grass and overgrowth, wildfires are common and keep volunteer firemen around the county busy putting out spreading flames.

Gov. Tate Reeves issued the burn ban last week saying that manpower and resources that could be available to aid in the tamping down of the coronavirus pandemic in Mississippi might be wasted on wildfires that could have been avoided.

Cole informed The Panolian of the burn ban lift when he received the word from the State Fire Coordinator Wednesday night.

Cole urged all Panola residents to be careful when tending to outdoor burn piles and take all precautions that are recommended by fire safety officials.