Controlled Burn Will Help Prevent Future Wildfires

It takes just a matter of seconds for the tall dry grass off Indian Point road in Gautier to become a fully involved fire. That's why officials say this controlled burn was so necessary.

"We've been trying to do this for the last year or so, and of course the drought conditions have not allowed us to do that," Jeff Clark says.

"It's going to reduce the hazard fuel and is going to protect local home owners around in these neighborhoods from the threat of wild fire," Tony Wilder, the burn manager, says.

The plan is simple, slowly burn up fuel sources like grass and scrubs before a wild fire sweeps through and does it.  But this simple plan requires a lot of planning and weather watching.

"We look at wind, we look at temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture, and soil moisture. If the actual conditions don't meet forecast we shut it off. We have several cross lines in here so we can stop the fire," Clark says.

Although this doesn't look very pretty right now, the burned land will turn green by spring and will help restore some of the natural plant life to this area.

"It will bring in more song birds, wildlife and flowers and it will be much prettier place to see."

Crews stood by all day to prevent any problems. They plan on burning more than 100 acres by the end of the day.