Stubborn wildfire advances in Alabama

Published: Feb. 15, 2016 at 9:53 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 at 10:54 AM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fire crews continue battling that large wildfire in the Grand Bay National Wildlife Preserve. The blaze now covers more than 4,000 acres of marshland and woods in Mississippi and Alabama. U.S. Fish and Wildlife would not allow us access to the fire line, because of concerns about stormy weather. Bayou Heron Road is closed at the entrance to the Grand Bay NER.

"Crews went out this morning to start mopping up some of the areas that were burned yesterday. We did a reconnaissance flight this morning about 9:30 and were able to update the acreage to 4,225," said Candice Stevenson with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Private property off Grand Bature Road is where the fire started, before quickly spreading into the adjacent Grand Bay National Wildlife Preserve.

"It spread yesterday more so in the Alabama side than on the Mississippi side. The Mississippi side we had some spot fires we were able to put out yesterday. But the marshy areas in Alabama, it spread about a mile beyond our fire perimeter from yesterday," said Stevenson.

Firefighters got some welcome relief from Mother Nature Monday. Rain helped knock down some of the wild fire.

Several signs cautioned drivers about smoke conditions on Highway 90 and I-10, although it didn't seem to be much of a problem on Monday. Winds and the approaching storms posed the biggest concern for crews.

"The erratic winds that you see right now, that affects possible spot fires from there, embers," said Stevenson.

Nearly 70 personnel from at least five different agencies are working the wildfire.

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