Massive fire covers 50+ acres on old Coca-Cola plantation proper - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Massive fire covers 50+ acres on old Coca-Cola plantation property

Firefighters from across Hancock County worked to put out a fire at the old Coca-Cola plantation in Bay St. Louis. (Photo source: WLOX) Firefighters from across Hancock County worked to put out a fire at the old Coca-Cola plantation in Bay St. Louis. (Photo source: WLOX)
The flames covered more than 50 acres, and smoke could be seen for miles Saturday afternoon and early evening. (Photo source: WLOX) The flames covered more than 50 acres, and smoke could be seen for miles Saturday afternoon and early evening. (Photo source: WLOX)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

A brush fire swept through more than 50 acres in Bay St. Louis Saturday. The fire began at the old Coca-Cola plantation property, along the Jordan River. Windy conditions helped that wildfire spread quickly.

Thick billows of smoke could be seen for many miles. It was first reported around 2pm and was apparently started by blowing embers from a campfire.

"With the wind, and that's where it got away from the campers that were out there. With the wind coming out of the north like it was, that's how it go away so fast," said Ronald Avery with the Bay St. Louis Fire Department. "No structures involved. It was basically the plantation field. But our crews have it under control at this time."

Around 10 firefighters from the two stations in Bay St. Louis responded, along with mutual aid from Clermont Harbor, Bayside and the MS Forestery Commission, which  brought in its heavy equipment to help control the blaze.'

"We called them in. They came in and basically their equipment and cut trenches and we back burn it," Avery said.

The back burning kept the blaze from threatening any structures. The biggest part of the wildfire was on the plantation property.

Tinder dry conditions and a stiff wind made things ideal for a fast moving wildfire. Deputy Chief Avery asks for the public's cooperation in not burning anything outdoors: campfires or any other open flames.

"The City of Bay St. Louis is under a burn ban until further notice. And of course, we're waiting on the weather. And if everybody can kind of keep that in mind," Avery said. 

Bay St. Louis kept a crew at the site for several hours into the night, keeping watch for any flare ups. 

This particular property is no stranger to fire. In fact, almost exactly one year ago, another massive fire destroyed a vacant building on the land. And about a year before that, in August 2014, an old guest house on the property burned to the ground

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