Strong Winds Fuel a Forest Fire in Stone County
Today in Stone County heavy winds and dry weather contributed to a wide spread woods fire. Thanks to team work and quick action, multiple fire stations and the Forestry Commission were able to successfully contain the blaze.
Heavy smoke filled the air and flames swept across the forest floor as strong winds carried a fire through the woods of Stone County. Five fire crews and workers from the US and state forestry commissions fought to contain the blaze for hours as the recent dry spell created prime conditions for a wild fire. Stone County Emergency Director Raven James said, “The firemen themselves, the action they’re taking is really just to protect the homes. The US Forestry is putting fire lanes around the fire and they’re doing back-burning to try to slow down the intensity of the fire from the wind, but right now they have got about 125 acres that have been burned so far and they’ve pretty much got it under control.”
Around the time the firefighters and US Forestry Commission workers reached 90 percent containment on the fire, some much needed rain began to fall, giving them a helping held. Residents living in the area were initially asked to evacuate, but a quick response from those fighting the fire kept their houses well out of harm’s way. Melanie Ellenburg was initially asked to vacate her home due to the fire. She said, “I just want to thank them. They did a great job. We’re just so thankful nobody’s house got burnt. We’re thankful for that.”
The containment effort wasn’t an easy one. Multiple responders suffered from smoke inhalation while battling the inferno. Grady Holder with the Wiggins Fire Department said, “As far as when we got there, we had two patients getting treated for smoke inhalation when we arrived. We pretty much took vitals, applied high flow O2 to the patients and one was actually transported to Stone County Hospital.”
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but Stone County is currently under a burn ban, as is 95 percent of the state. “They did apply a burn ban to the state of Mississippi and with the dry conditions, it’s definitely not something to play around with and it can get very serious very quickly like it did today. Definitely do not burn anything when that ban is in effect,” said Holder.