Huge swath of Cat Island scorched by fire

Huge swath of Cat Island scorched by fire
The flames on Cat Island are out, but a huge section of the island remains scorched by the major fire. (Photo source: WLOX)
The flames on Cat Island are out, but a huge section of the island remains scorched by the major fire. (Photo source: WLOX)
Investigators have determined lightning sparked the blaze. (Photo source: WLOX)
Investigators have determined lightning sparked the blaze. (Photo source: WLOX)
"Oh, it was plenty scary," said long time island caretaker Walter Goudin, who's lived on Cat Island for 15 years. (Photo source: WLOX)
"Oh, it was plenty scary," said long time island caretaker Walter Goudin, who's lived on Cat Island for 15 years. (Photo source: WLOX)

CAT ISLAND, MS (WLOX) - The scorched marsh grass crackles loudly beneath your feet as you walk along the edge of South Bayou on Cat Island. A fire which began in that area quickly consumed acres of marsh, piney woods and underbrush.

"Oh, it was plenty scary," said long time island caretaker Walter Goudin, who's lived on Cat Island for 15 years.

After spotting the blaze late Wednesday afternoon, he and another island homeowner used a tractor to cut a fire break until help could arrive from the mainland some six miles away.

The blaze billowed thick smoke for hours and the impressive flames lit the night sky until near midnight. Investigators have determined lightning sparked the blaze.

Steve Phillips visited the island Thursday morning for an exclusive look at the morning after damage and interview with the still shaken caretaker. Smoke drifted through the charred woods and small flames still crackled at numerous hot spots.

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