Wildfire Prevention Tips
Check your local weather forecast - do not burn on dry, windy days. The wind carries embers long distances, which can cause spot fires as far away as one-half mile from the burning area. A small spark can start a large wildfire when conditions are dry and windy.
Find out if there is a burn ban for your area before doing any outdoor burning. Also, check local laws and city ordinances in your area to make sure outdoor recreational burning is allowed. For a complete list of burn bans, visit: www.mfc.ms.gov/burn-bans
Choose a safe burn site for outdoor recreational burning. The site should be surrounded by gravel or dirt at least 10 feet in all directions. Remove any flammable materials or objects from the area.
Keep campfires small and manageable, only burn untreated wood debris (waste, plastic, rubber tires, and other manufactured products may not be burned), and keep a garden hose or source of water easily accessible. To view the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality standards regarding outdoor burning, visit: bit.ly/MDEQOpenBurning
Never leave campfires, bonfires, fire pits, grills, or any type of outdoor fire unattended. Make sure the burn site is fully extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving.
The same preventive measures apply when using charcoal grills. When you are finished using a charcoal grill, always let the coals cool completely and douse in water before disposing of them in a metal container. Never leave a grill unattended.
- When homes are near wooded areas, prescribed burning can be utilized responsibly by a Certified Burn Manager to reduce fuel for wildfires. Prescribed burning clears underbrush and other flammable vegetation that builds up on the forest floor. A burning permit from the MFC is recommended for this activity, visit: www.mfc.ms.gov/burning-permits or call 1-833-MFC-FIRE. To learn more about becoming a Certified Burn Manager, visit: www.mfc.ms.gov/prescribed-burning-short-course
To report a wildfire in Mississippi, call the Mississippi Forestry Commission's Central Dispatch Number (or dial 911):
Governor Phil Bryant has declared March to be Wildfire Prevention Month. Historically, March has one of the highest wildfire occurrence rates of the year due to the weather transition from winter to spring, dry vegetation, and windy conditions. Thousands of acres of valuable timberland are damaged or lost, and the lives and property of citizens are endangered, all due to the destructive force of wildfire. Remember, it is up to everyone to do their part in preventing wildfire occurrences. Do not participate in any outdoor burning on windy days, request a burning permit, and be sure to check for active burn bans in your area before burning.
Click here to view a list of active burn bans organized by county.
If you are doing a timber or agricultural burn, you are advised to get a permit from the Mississippi Forestry Commission prior to burning. Contact your local Central Dispatch Center to request a burning permit.
Please be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Type of burning (agriculture or forestry)
- Number of acres
- Forestry purpose (hazard reduction, control undesirable species, control disease, site prep, wildlife management, other)
- Landowner name
- Person responsible for fire
- Address, Telephone number
- Location of property (40, section, township and range)
- Beginning / end date and time of fire
Burning Leaves Poster (pdf)
Don't Burn on Windy Days - PSA (30 seconds, 1MB, mp3)
Don't Burn on Windy Days - PSA (60 seconds, 2MB, mp3)
Firewise Information - Be Firewise Mississippi
Think Twice! Before Doing Any Outdoor Burning
Information on how to protect your home and family from wildfires: