HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Half a dozen fires have blazed through west Harrison County in the last week, burning hundreds of acres of land. Fire officials throughout the county have been on high alert keeping these fires under control. They also fear that many are due to arson.
"What we have here is somebody that has no regard for people's property or their well being because these fires are dangerous," said Harrison County Fire Marshall Pat Sullivan.
In total, 900 acres have been chard. While some of the fires were ruled accidental, fire officials fear that many of the fires were purposely set.
"We have what we believe is an inordinate amount of fire that have been set," said Sullivan.
Most of the damaged property is timberland. The burned pine trees will be an expensive loss for landowners who will not be able to take them to market.
Luckily, efforts from fire fighters have kept homes out of harm.
"People were worried. People left their homes over it. People lost sleep over it worrying about if the fire was going to rekindle and affect their property," said Sullivan.
According to the county fire marshal, fires have sprung up in several places from the southwest part of the county up to the Stone County line, and even into Hancock County. Controlling the fires has been a joint effort from the forestry commission and county fire services and volunteers.
"It's a huge cost to the county. It's a huge cost to the state. When we fly in helicopters, and drop water from helicopters and operating dozers," said Sullivan.
There have been no direct injuries from the fires, but smoke and fog have caused problems for drivers leading to one pile up.
"Quite frankly, people that set fires like this need to go to jail. It's just the bottom line," said Sullivan.
The Harrison County Fire Marshal has asked for the community's help to prevent fires. If you see any odd activity or have any information on these fires, please contact Harrison County Fire Services at (228) 832 0638.