Much of the state including Yalobusha County remains under a burn ban following a proclamation signed by Governor Phil Byrant on October 11 at the request of the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC). The MFC requested the partial state level burn ban due to the increase in wildfire occurrences, elevated drought conditions, dry vegetation, and the forecasted weather patterns.
Speaking at a recessed Board of Supervisors meeting earlier in the month, Yalobusha EMA director Frank Hyde told supervisors the county has been very fortunate, experiencing only minimal grass fires despite extremely dry conditions. Hyde also thanked the public on behalf of the county’s volunteer fire fighters for complying with the burn ban.
“Even before the burn ban, I think the public has been extremely cautious,” Hyde added. “When you get this dry, people seem to think a little more about burning. “We have had a lot more fires in past years when it wasn’t as dry.”
Charcoal and propane grills are allowed under burn bans, according to MFC’s website. However, the coals and embers generated by a charcoal grill can be dangerous. Before removing or dumping the ashes of your charcoal grill, users are asked to thoroughly extinguish any hot embers with water. The ashes should be cold to the touch before disposal.
Any person who knowingly and willfully violates a burning ban is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500. Fines are enforced by the local sheriff’s department. Anyone that sets a fire is responsible for that fire and the smoke generated by that fire. If a fire escapes and burns or damages lands or property, the person that set that fire is liable for those damages.