Controlled burns get out of control

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As crews continue to fight wildfires in California, local fire officials fear a similar scene could threaten people here in South Mississippi.

Harrison County officials say controlled burns are getting out of hand.

"This is a continuation of a number of incidents that have happened," says Harrison County Fire Marshall George Mixon.

Mixon says lately the number of out of control burns have increased. And he's worried that some parts of South Mississippi may soon go up in flames.

"They see what's happening in California. The same thing could happen here if we had stronger winds and a bigger fire. It wouldn't be anything for it to start threatening homes," said Mixon.

Monday's fire destroyed five acres of land.

Roger Wood with the Mississippi Forestry Commission says it could have been worse.

"People don't realize that the carelessness causes us problems. It causes danger. And it's only going to cause people to loose homes," said Wood.

There are some things people can do to make sure the fire stays contained: Like clearing out enough dirt around the burn pile, make sure you monitor the burn, but more importantly if it's a windy day, don't burn at all.

"People are clearing their lots, they're burning trash, trying to clean up their property and we try to help them out but we have to look at the overall public interest," Mixon said.

George Mixon says Harrison County could issue a burn ban by the end of the week.