Fire forces evacuations in Harrison Co.

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - It didn't take long before the burn pile Earnie Hall started on his property became a moving inferno.

"It wasn't 15 minutes, and it had got out of hand," Hall said.

"It ended up burning about one acre and threatening two homes," said Randy Wilson with the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

It took about two hours before volunteer firefighters from Saucier and Lizana, as well as personnel with the Mississippi Forestry Commission, could get the fire under control.

Like Hall, Lynda Kreb was forced out of the home she shares with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.

"There was fire right out here all along out here," Kreb said.

Kreb said the fire came within a few feet of the home.

"I was scared. I was praying very hard."

Hall, who didn't want to go on camera, said he just lost his job and wanted to sell the metal left from the burn for extra money. Hall was burning outside of fire season, which typically runs November through March. But officials say certain conditions make uncontrollable fires a threat year-round.

"Wildfires can occur at any time due to the dry conditions and high temperatures," Wilson said.

It was a lesson Hall learned the hard way.

"Be careful when you're setting fires, you just never know," Hall said.

It's a lesson that could also cost Hall some cash.  Wilson said he might have to pay for the commission's equipment and labor costs.

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