Mississippi News

Wildland Firefighters Week of Remembrance and Appreciation Day

June 28 – The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) is recognizing June 30 to July 6 as the “Wildland Firefighters Week of Remembrance” and July 2 as “Wildland Firefighter Appreciation Day.” These observances are dedicated to honoring the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to safeguard the public, property, infrastructure, and precious resources.

Since July 1, 2023, in Mississippi, MFC wildland firefighters have responded to 2,500 wildfires, battling flames that consumed approximately 52,000 acres across the state. Their commitment and tireless efforts deserve a tremendous amount of appreciation.

Randy Giachelli, MFC Fire Chief, states, “The dangers wildland firefighters face cannot be underestimated. Wildfires are unpredictable, making the task of containing them incredibly challenging. While wildland firefighters are equipped with knowledge of weather conditions such as wind speed and relative humidity, these conditions can change in an instant, adding to the complexity of their work.”

Safety is paramount for MFC, and extensive training is provided to ensure that wildland firefighters are well-prepared to respond to wildfires. It is important to remember that most wildfires in Mississippi and nationwide are human-caused. Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in the state.

In 2023, 18 wildland firefighters died in the line of duty in the United States. This number reflects the significant risks that wildland firefighters face while protecting their communities from wildfires.

For more information on MFC, and our wildfire protection division, visit mfc.ms.gov. If you see a wildfire, please report it immediately by calling 911.

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