More than 800 acres burned in Hancock County

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Rangers with the Mississippi Forestry Commission say approximately 857 acres were burned in Hancock County after a wild fire broke out Saturday afternoon.

"We showed up, and it was pretty intense and pretty large," Ranger Heath Waltman said.

They say it looks as if the wildfire started in a marshy area off the Jourdan River, near Diamondhead.

At one point, the fire jumped from one side of Interstate 10 to the other. As it moved closer to Highway 603, it followed the same pattern, spreading from one side of the highway to the other.

"I've been here for two years, and I haven't seen a fire like this since I've been here," Waltman said.

Rangers say the fire came pretty close to nearby businesses, but there were no evacuations. The fire also created problems for drivers Saturday afternoon as smoke hovered across I-10 and Highway 603.  Rangers were, however, were able to create a line of containment around the fire to get it under control.

Through fire season is typically November through March, rangers say dry weather has created hazardous conditions for burning.

"Any kind of little spark or ash or anything will ignite these woods fires quick," Waltman said.

Buddy Cuevas, a forestry technician for the county, told WLOX News that if someone starts a burn pile and the forestry commission is called out because it gets out of control, the person might have to pay for labor costs.

The land involved in the wild fire was private land, but Cuevas said they're still investigating how it started.

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