Wanda Matheny and her family picked through the burned ruins of her mobile home, looking for anything to save. The home on Delancy Road in Saucier burned Tuesday. Matheny says it was a close call. She and her daughter were sleeping inside and smoke woke her up. "I ran, got my daughter. She got out, I got out and then she ran back in because we've got two chilauhas and that was all she wrote."
The fire marshal says Matheny's home is gone because of an out of control trash fire. "Someone was burning trash and the wind kicked it up and spread it to the grass and the grass went to everything else and one fire started another fire and this is the results of it. We have a family that has lost everything, a total loss," says George Mixon.
Near Canal Road, more than 500 acres burned Monday and Tuesday. Mixon says again, the fire could have been prevented. "Another out of control controlled burn. This is the fire department's worst nightmare that someone burning trash thinks they have it under control, the wind picks up, the fire gets out control and we've got 500 acres that are burned and hundreds of houses that are in danger of burning."
After two full days of fighting fires across the county and seeing the Matheny family lose everything, Mixon said enough. "This is the straw that broke the camel's back yesterday that caused us to take a serious look at the situation and go ahead and issue an immediate burn ban."
The burn ban is in effect until further notice. It will be enforced by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. Mixon says the cities are also considering restricting or banning burning until conditions improve.