Despite early week rains, burn ban still in effect

Published 9:55 am Friday, December 2, 2016

Despite receiving more than 2 inches of rain over a two-day period, Vicksburg and Warren County remain under a state-mandated burn ban issued in October.

“We have not heard anything from the governor’s office or the forestry commission that it has been lifted,” Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said.

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Warren and 73 other Mississippi counties went under the Oct. 6 burn ban as most of the state came under extreme dry conditions, raising the threat of woods and grass fires caused by embers from outdoor burning.

Storms passing through the area Monday and Tuesday dumped 2.42 inches of rain, and while that helped the situation, it wasn’t enough to bust the drought or lift the burn ban, said Allen Campbell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Jackson.

“It’s not looking likely (to lift the ban) at least as far as what I’ve seen today, but that is up to the state Forestry Commission, and they have their own numbers,” he said.

Campbell said computer models indicate another frontal system moving into the area during the weekend could provide more rain.

“It looks like a wet period going from Saturday into at least Monday,” he said. “The numbers we’ve looked at, Saturday through Monday, we may have 2 to 5 inches of rain across the area. That will certainly go a long way to help the drought, and the good thing is, it’s not going to fall all at one time; it’s going to be spread out over a good bit, so that will definitely go a long way toward alleviating the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing.

“When you have a break from the drought, you prefer to have those large amounts of rain over a period of time rather than just a lot of rain in a matter of an hour. It will go a long way in alleviating a drought with 2 to 5 inches over a three day period. Just a good, long soaking rain is what we need right now, and it looks like we’re going to get that with the next system coming in.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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