Wildfires Blamed On Arson

Authorities suspect arson in some wildfires that burned nearly 400 acres in 11 southern Mississippi counties this week.

Firefighters had the blazes under control by Friday, said Richard Tice, spokesman for the Mississippi Forestry Commission. Tice said arson is suspected in two wildfires near Saucier in Harrison County, one of which burned about 200 acres off Riceville Road. That fire had been set in five different places, Tice said.

Another smaller fire burned about 18 acres southeast of U.S. 49 near Adams Road, Tice said.

"Those two may have been connected,'' he said. "The investigators are working on it now.''

Tice said while arson is also suspected in some of the other fires, many were caused by trash fires or controlled burns that got out of control. Dry weather, low humidity and wind are creating conditions for trash fires to get out of control and spread, Tice said.

Rain forecast over the weekend should help improve conditions, he said.