Local fire crews continue the battle to contain large brush fire in Harrison County
The fight rages on. Today, a mobile command center was set up at the parking lot of Gulf Coast Church on 28th Street in Long Beach to help in the battle to contain and ultimately fully extinguish that brush fire that broke out Saturday.
Twenty six hundred acres and counting, since Saturday firefighters from throughout South Mississippi and the Forestry Commission have been fighting a relentless brush fire that keeps reigniting at hot spots throughout the area. Harrison County Fire Services Chief Pat Sullivan said, “From a firefighter’s perspective, the low humidity, the high winds, the drought conditions we’ve been under, all of those are asking for trouble. The fire loads are great. Some of these areas have not been managed in quite a while, and subsequently, you have a lot of downed trees, downed debris in there. So, when the fire starts going, it moves quickly.”
Dozens of local heroes are on the front lines, now gathered in one spot, a new mobile command center set up Tuesday in Long Beach. They’re armed and ready, but also up against an unpredictable foe, facing danger head on to protect those who live, work, and travel through this area in Central Harrison County. “With the winds variable, you can, what we look at is where is the fire traveling to, what’s in danger, where are our people going to be safe or where are they not going to be safe. You kind of see the direction the fire is moving and you plan for that. The problem is when it changes directions on you and it starts blowing in the opposite way, or in a different way, that can be dangerous.”
Property owners in the area can also help protect their property by keeping brush, debris, and other objects cleared away from their homes and not starting any fires of their own. “Right now is the time to put a burn ban. It would help the situation if people didn’t burn. Because of the high winds, because of the drought conditions, because of the buildup of the fuel sources, and because of the lack of rain, and low humidity, all of those things we’ve mentioned time after time. That’s the time. Now is the time.”