Dry Conditions Bad For Mississippi's Woods and Wildlife - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/30/03

Dry Conditions Bad For Mississippi's Woods and Wildlife

It's been 28 days since South Mississippi has seen any substantial rainfall. Dry conditions equal danger for Mississippi's woodlands and wildlife. This week's two day wild-fire in Woolmarket destroyed almost 50 acres. Since the annexation of Woolmarket, the Biloxi Fire Department has had to make some major adjustments to learn to fight wildfires.

Before annexation, Biloxi firefighters would race to a fire and use neighborhood hydrants to fight the blaze. Much of Woolmarket is rural and that changes their battle plan dramatically. Biloxi's Assistant Fire Chief Roy Beddingfield says, "So what we have to do is set up drafting sites or dry hydrants and actually set up a pump where we pull water out of the rivers streams and fill the tankers and run to a dumpsite."

Firefighters successfully beat this week's Woolmarket fire, but not until it destroyed almost 50 acres of woods and wildlife inhabitants. Beddingfield says one person's negligence and very dry conditions were a dangerous combination, "In dry conditions, somebody starts a little trash fire and it starts running through the grass this thing can expand real fast and it creates a big problem. We had several houses in danger yesterday, we were lucky enough that the wind died down enough that we could get control of it before it consumed any of the houses, but it could have been much worse."

Beddingfield asks everyone to call their local fire department before starting any type of outdoor fire.

by: Rebecca Powers

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