St. Martin brush fire contained but some are still worried - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

St. Martin brush fire contained but some are still worried

A wildlife firefighter monitors the fire line of a brush fire in St. Martin. A wildlife firefighter monitors the fire line of a brush fire in St. Martin.
ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) -

An aggressive brush fire in St. Martin burned about 50 acres and forced firefighters to close down Fort Bayou Road for at least three hours.

The closure forced all school buses at the St. Martin Upper Elementary, the Middle School and High School to take different routes to take students home.

The fire was not completely out by Wednesday evening, but firefighters said it is contained and is now considered safe, although smoke may be a continuing problem.

But that isn't overly comforting to some who live along Fort Bayou Road.

The smoke poured from the woods and onto the neighboring houses.

Firefighters were called to the scene about 2:30 p.m., but Katherine Simon began seeing smoke in the morning.

“They were just trying to block it off down the street about six houses up where the other house lives I guess is where it all began,” she said. “And since they’ve been trying to block it’s been coming off worse and worse and worse. ... It made me anxious, especially for my babies. I mean, it’s all around here and it’s bothering us and bothering them and it’s not good for us to inhale it.”

Five agencies responded, including the Northwest Fire Department out of St. Martin.

Assistant Chief Frank Duke said it is the biggest brush fire this year and it's been 10 or 15 years since there has been an aggressive burn in this area.

Duke says his department was first on the scene and used brush trucks with water pumps to help douse the fire.

Sandhill Wildlife firefighters and the Mississippi Forestry Commission created a plow line that helped contain the area.

“When the forestry commission guys arrived on the scene, they are the experts on wildfire behavior, they initiate some tests and things and told us that the relative humidity is around 19 percent, which in this case is pretty dangerous for wildfires, the underbrush and small stuff is really dry and lights off pretty easy.”

The news that the fire is contained is good news, sort of, for Simon.

“A little bit but it’s still scary,” she said. “It’s still really strong, it doesn’t feel like it’s contained.”

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