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Wildfires a Risk During Peak Lighting Season

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Chip Ward

JACKSON, Miss – Mississippi has been seeing dry conditions due to the summer heat, and despite the rain this week, it has not been substantial enough to outweigh the risk of wildfires caused by lighting strikes.

“There is nothing to prevent lighting from striking trees,” said Russell Bozeman Director of Forest Protection and Forrest Information at the Mississippi Forestry Commission. “We are in a high wildfire danger period. The vegetation is dry, we haven’t had rain in quite some time, and now we have had a dry front that has come through. There may be thunderstorms, lighting strikes, but not a lot of rain associated with it.”

Bozeman says the lighting will typically strike a structure such as a tree or a power pole and throw off an ember. That ember will land in dry grass or pine straw. Usually in dry fronts there will be lots of wind and once wind gets behind the flame it starts to spread.

Remember if you see a wildfire, created by lighting or not you need to call 911.

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