Crews Work To Contain Wildfire In Hancock County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/25/06

Crews Work To Contain Wildfire In Hancock County

Firefighters in Hancock County have apparently gained the upper hand on a giant woods fire that threatened homes and lives near Kiln Saturday afternoon.

It happened in a wooded area near Road 528 and Old Joe Moran Road.

Residents of Silver Creek Acres were ordered to evacuate, but authorities have since allowed them to return.

While authorities appear to have contained most of the fire, the dry vegetation and debris have them keeping a close eye on the situation.

Hancock County fire and emergency personnel along with a number of other agencies battled for hours to get the fire under control.

Earlier on Saturday residents in the Silver Creek Acres subdivision were all but told to run for their lives as this potential killer rode the gusting winds practically to their doorsteps.

"We evacuated everybody on the west side of Camellia Street and got them out of the area," said Capt. Eddie Jennings of the Hancock County Sheriff's Dept.

One of those evacuees was resident Cathy Holmes who first suspected all that smoke was from a controlled burn.

"Come to find out it was not contained, and it was too close to home," said Holmes.

Another resident was Mark Kline who believes the fire started by an unidentified resident down the street burning brush on his property.

"She didn't want him to burn. He wanted to burn and she tried to stop him. And you know wives and husbands," said Kline.

He says he was an eyewitness to the start of a second fire just a few hundred yards behind his FEMA trailer sparked by embers from the first.

"When I got there was just 1 fireman at first, and I jumped out and started helping him and the conclusion is were we are right now. We're still a little concerned because we're probably going to be watching the property all night. You know you can look around, they got embers still dropping on here," said Kline.

That's exactly the type of vigil firefighters will be keeping as well.

Their efforts this day denied it claim to a single home or life, and they'll not rest until the last threat it posses is extinguished for good.

Hancock County Civil Defense Director Brian Adam says at one point as many as 30 firefighters and emergency personnel were working to contain the fire.

Adam says burning debris may be the cause.

"Right now in speaking with the fire chief of the Kiln, it may have been a little brush pile that started it. That's why we wanted to reiterate that Hancock County is under a burn ban," said Adam.

And again Adam says there were no serious injuries or deaths as a result of the fire.

By: Don Culpepper

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