Fires Strain Resources

By: Chris Whited Email
By: Chris Whited Email

The potential for and recent string of wildfires in east Mississippi is keeping the forestry commission's staff and equipment stretched thin as it tries to put out and contain these fires.

"With fuel moisture being so low, the high heat and low humidities, our guys are stretched pretty thin," said Greg Chatham of the Mississippi Forestry Commission. "You have a fire and if there's multiple fires in the county, you have to move equipment and personnel from one county to another."

Chatham said that was the case Thursday. Crews had returned to the scene of a fire that reignited along the Clarke-Lauderdale county line, when yet another fire broke out near Shubuta.

"We're on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If it's dry enough to have a fire, we have to respond," Chatham said. "Saturday, Sundays, it doesn't really mean anything. Our guys, we work when there is potential for fire."

Workers are constantly repairing and testing firefighting equipment and machinery to make sure everything is ready to battle the next wildfire.

So far this month, there have been 41 fires in eastern Mississippi, burning over 2,200 acres.

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