Photo courtesy of MFC
A sizable wildfire on the coast has been contained, according to the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Crews with the MFC, Harrison County Fire Department and several over agencies began battling the blaze on Sunday with initial estimates showing the fire spanning about 100 acres. Crews used bulldozers and tractor plows to build fire lines in an effort to slow and box in the fire.
“The Gulf Coast was in a drought situation, with high winds and low relative humidity,” said Russell Bozeman, MFC state forester. “These weather conditions are a recipe for a potential wildfire outbreak.”
On Monday, the “Tillman Road Fire” grew to approximately 300 acres due to high winds from the South. The MFC stated that the fire’s push north caused a number of evacuations and road closures in the area.
Despite efforts by crews to set backfires – a fire that is intentionally set by wildland firefighters along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of the wildfire – the blaze had grown to 1,500 acres by Monday night at 80 percent containment.
“We had favorable weather conditions on Tuesday that allowed our crews to hold the outer edges of the fire,” said Bozeman. “However, some interior burning caused the fire to settle in at approximately 1,700 acres.”
An inch of rain on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning allowed the fire to be called controlled and contained. MFC crews continue to monitor the area for any re-burn scenarios.
A breakdown of resources deployed during the wildfire and a damage report was provided by the MFC:
Over the course of the fire, approximately 25-30 MFC wildland firefighters responded to the Tillman Road Fire. The MFC also dispatched 14 tractor plow units over the four-day fire. MFC aviation supported the fire suppression efforts, with assistance from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department helicopter.
Harrison County Fire Services reported additional resources assigned to the fire to exceed 200, with close to 80 pieces of equipment.
There were 324 structures that were threatened and saved by firefighters. The fire did destroy one abandoned building and an RV.
“I am extremely proud of our MFC crews and how they responded to the Tillman Road Fire, as well as the interagency collaboration and communication,” Bozeman said. “This was a successful ending due to the tremendous efforts from city, county and state resources protecting life and property.”
For additional photos and videos from the MFC, click here.