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Stone County joins most of state in imposing burn ban

Flames erupt from a hot spot in a woods fire that started in Harrison County near the Delisle Exit north of Interstate 10 in this Sun Herald file photo from 2011.
Flames erupt from a hot spot in a woods fire that started in Harrison County near the Delisle Exit north of Interstate 10 in this Sun Herald file photo from 2011. John Fitzhugh

Forget about your fire pits, bonfires or any other type of burning over the next month if you live in Stone County.

The Stone County Board of Supervisors imposed a burn ban Monday, joining 78 other counties where burning of any type is forbidden.

County officials ordered a 30-day ban effective through midnight Dec. 20.

Previously, only five counties around the state had not banned burning. Now, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Wilkinson counties in the state are the only counties that have not imposed a burn ban.

The ban means no outdoor burning of any kind, according to the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

That includes campfires, bonfires, fire pits, burn barrels, debris burning, fireworks, field burning, and anything with an open flame that produces embers, according to the MFC. Wind can carry floating embers up to a half-mile away and start a spot fire, the MFC says.

George County’s burn ban is effective through Nov. 30. In Pearl River, the ban’s effective until further notice. The ban in Greene County runs through Dec. 5.

Violating a burn ban is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 to $500. Burn bans are enforced by sheriff’s departments.

The MFC website shows some exceptions for some counties, which allow fires started by the MFC or certified burn managers. Some exceptions allow county fire services to manage a burn, or contractors to burn in accordance with Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality regulations.

Residents under a burn ban are still allowed to use propane or gas grills or heaters, and charcoal grills. Those using charcoal grills are asked to dispose of the briquettes carefully by allowing them to cool, then dousing them with water before disposing of them in a metal container. Ashes that are left should be cold before disposal.

Gov. Phil Bryant had issued a partial burn ban Oct. 11 for 52 counties, noting a lack of rainfall through September, extreme dry conditions and fire hazards.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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