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Wind gusts and dry conditions are a perfect storm

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 3/25/2014 7:16 pm
PRENTISS COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's the perfect storm.

That's one way to describe the combination of wind gusts and dry conditions.  

Mississippi Forestry Commission field technicians are standing by looking for potential problems along the Natrchez Trace Parkway.

"They've had us get it all ready today and just standing by waiting," said Andrew Tigner, technician.       

Technicians are waiting for disaster to strike, and all it takes is a match.

"This end of the state right now is the hottest part of the state there is. We're having more fires than any other district," said Mississippi Forestry Commission spokesperson Stacy Lewis.

Lewis says there have been 139 fires in March alone.

Right now, there are 3,400 charred acres throughout the 15-county area the commission services in northeast Mississippi.

"It's worse this year than it has been in the last 4-5 years," Lewis added.

Fighting quite a few fires these days is Pisgah Community Volunteer Fire Department Chief Gary Yancey.

Volunteer firefighters often work with Forestry Commission crews to extinguish a fire.

When it's this dry and windy, there are going to be fires.

Burning anything outside is not just risky, it's dangerous.

"If you start a fire in it, it's gonna get away from you quick with this wind," added Chief Yancey.        

A cigarette can be lethal.

"Once it lands somewhere, if it's on fire, it's gonna set another fire and with this wind, it's gonna be off and running," said Lewis.    

"All it needs is the air to help stimulate the growth of fire and here we go," said Chief Yancey.
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