Nearly two-dozen counties under burn bans; officials warn of fireworks

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Adams County is banning the shooting off of fireworks in the unincorporated parts but the prohibition will not affect the annual community fireworks display on the Mississippi River.

The fireworks ban comes as Mississippi city and counties are dealing with the ongoing drought and high temperature.

Twenty-three counties have some kind of burn ban in place, according to the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

“It’s (a burn ban) because of dry conditions, and a drought we are currently experiencing,” said county Emergency Management Director and Fire Coordinator Stan Owens.

The minimum fine for violating the burn ban is $100, and the maximum is $500.

The Natchez Democrat reports fireworks are not legal inside the city of Natchez.

In the City of Natchez, unauthorized fireworks are never legal.

“But there is no way they can enforce it,” said fire chief Oliver Stewart.

Stewart said he knows residents will shoot fireworks this week, so he just wants everyone to be safe in doing so.

Officials are encouraging residents who want to enjoy fireworks to attend a community-wide fireworks show set to begin at 9 p.m. Wednesday over the river.

Fireworks may be viewed from the bluff in Natchez or Vidalia, La.

The company coordinating the fireworks is Pyrotecnico and will last 15 to 20 minutes.

In Lee County, the board of supervisors is allowing fireworks in rural areas despite a burn ban. The burn ban expires July 20 but can be canceled earlier in case of ample rainfall.

Under the ban, no one in rural Lee County can start outdoor fires except the Forestry Commission, which conducts control burns.

Lee County Supervisor Sean Thompson tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal while fireworks are allowed, though they urged residents to practice extreme caution.

“Don’t light a roman candle and shoot it toward the tall grass,” Thompson said.

The ban doesn’t apply to municipalities, which have their own regulations about fires and fireworks.

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