Brush fires plague Madison County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Brush fires plague Madison County

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By Howard Ballou  - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Nerves are on edge in Madison County as wildfires threaten houses and property. 

Firefighters from five counties along with the Mississippi Forestry Commission are engaged in a furious battle with persistent brush fires fueled by extremely dry conditions.

The hotspots are on an estimated 560 acres in Madison County near Highway 43 and Honeysuckle Road about 10 miles northeast of Canton. 

"Never seen nothing like this in my life. Not no fire like this.", said Vickie Gray.

Gray is a lifelong resident of Camden in Madison County.

But she was concerned that could come to an end Tuesday afternoon when her family was asked to evacuate her Highway 43 home. 

Gray said, "Yes, it was and it was way over back in the woods and some of it was coming back over this way and smoke from the fire damaged the back of my house." 

You can see just how wide a swath the fire has cut in Skycopter 3 images.

Tommy Steen, EOC director for Rankin County, said smoke from the Madison County fire has drifted as far south as Florence and Star.

A forestry commission airplane continually circles the area monitoring the scene and keep ground crews posted. 

Madison County EOC director, Butch Hammack said, "Because of where it is; how it's located; weren't able to get in there with any manpower, so we've had to fight with the forestry service and basically, Howard just let it burn to us." 

Firefighters with the Mississippi Forestry Commission have a cut a fire lane and surrounded this roughly 560 acres of fire and set back fires in an effort to put this thing out. 

Bill Kitchings of the Mississippi Forestry Commission said, "And use the fire plow to create basically like a ditch and creates bare ground so it takes away the fuel from the fire to try to help suppress fire." 

Madison County EOC director, Butch Hammack says there have been no injuries but firefighters are fatigued and emergency personnel are making sure everyone is properly hydrated.

For now, Vickie Gray and her family and other evacuees have been allowed back in their homes as firefighters continue to keep tabs on the situation. 

Asked if she'll be glad when it's over, she said, "Yes, Lordy! Surely will!"

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