Extremely hot daytime temperatures, coupled with sustained dry conditions over the last several days, have prompted Starkville Fire Department officials to impose a ban on an residential and commercial burning inside the city limits.
The burn ban will remain in effect until the area sees a period of sustained rainfall, said Fire Department officials said Thursday.
“With the conditions as dry as they are with little rainfall for more than a week, we feel we need to err on the side of caution,” Fire Marshal Mark McCurdy said on Thursday. “What rainfall we have had has been isolated, and some parts of the city have seen no rain at all.
Though grass in many city yards and fields appear lush and green, along with wooded areas, they would be put at substantial risk for fires with the
slightest spark and a decent wind, McCurdy said.
“Grass will burn quickly if there’s no moisture in it, and a fire will spread rapidly if it gets a good wind behind it,” McCurdy said.
“We’re at that time of year when we see less rain, so that just notches the threat up another level.”
No burn ban has yet been imposed in Oktibbeha County outside the Starkville city limits.
Smokers — particularly those in cars — are also encouraged to avoid throwing cigarette butts from their car windows. It is believed that a cigarette butt from a passing car may have sparked previous wildfires inside the city last year, said Fire Chief Rodger Mann.
Violation of the burn ban will result in a fine of $500 plus all costs incurred by the City of Starkville. Each day will be considered a new violation.
Burning rubbish past fire department deadline showing smoke or open flame will result in a fine of $100 per day.
For more information about city burning regulations and fire prevention, contact McCurdy, Mann or Fire Marshal Stein McMullen at the Fire Department at 323-1845 or 323-2962.