Dryer temps means increase in wildfires

Published 6:39 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Cooler and dryer temperatures have finally moved into central Mississippi, which is welcome news to residents who enjoy a break from the hot and humid days of summer. But as those dry cold fronts move through the state, the threat of wildfires increases.

Wildfires occur year-round in Mississippi, but officials say there’s an increase in wildfire activity during the fall.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

According to the Mississippi Forestry Commission, their agency responded to and suppressed 2,318 wildfires that burned an estimated 33,574 acres during the 2017 fiscal year.

A majority of those fires were caused by people burning debris that escaped control, according to the MFC.

“Nationwide, nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are human-caused, which means 9 out of 10 wildfires could have been prevented with proper care,” Charlie Morgan, MFC state forester, said. “Sadly, debris burns that escaped control were the number one cause of wildfires in Mississippi last year.”

Morgan said wildfires are known to move at speeds of up to 14 mph, which can quickly endanger lives, homes and natural resources.

“The best way to prevent devastating wildfire occurrences is never to let one start,” Morgan said.

To report a wildfire in the state of Mississippi, call 1-833-MFC-FIRE (1-833-632-3473).