At a recessed board meeting last Tuesday (Sept. 17) Pontotoc Aldermen implemented a burn ban inside the city limits until further notice.

Pontotoc Fire Chief Lance Martin said the burn ban forbids recreational burning, debris burning and property maintenance fires until further notice.

"The only outside fires permitted are for cooking purposes only and that has to be the smallest fire needed to cook, no bon fires," Martin said. 

"We need three or four inches of rain over multiple days to reduce the existing fire danger."

Martin said the Mississippi Forestry Commission has issued a level four (out of five) fire danger. 

"The trees are dripping sap and are highly flammable. The trees are so dry the leaves are falling like it's November. Humidity is very low, that greatly increases the fire danger. There's no moisture."

Martin stressed that machine operators need to be cautious of fires.

"Grass is collecting on machinery and implements are catching on fire. An excavator caught fire last week and a piece of equipment at the landfill caught on fire also."

Martin said the extremely dry conditions greatly enhance the dangers and destruction posed by wildfires. 

"Road side fires can be sparked by flat tires, no one needs to be throwing cigarettes out the truck window. Everyone needs to be on alert and extremely cautious until we get some soaking rain to decrease the fire danger."

"Unless it rains immediately I look for the burn ban to be extended by other counties and cities."

"Everyone needs to heed this burn ban. The buildings and homes in town are just very close and it could be disastrous."

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