High winds whip up grass fire in Jefferson

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 10, 2006

Normally, people think very little of a grass fire. But, with heavy winds rolling through Marengo County Thursday on the edge of a major storm system, an ordinary grass fire on Jefferson Road had the potential to grow into much more. The fire, with a little help from 30 mile per hour gusts, sent smoke rolling into Demopolis.

Luckily, for the Demopolis Fire Department a quick response and favorable conditions on site helped them contain the flames and keep the situation under control. Demopolis Fire Chief George Davenport said things could have been a lot worse if the winds had shifted.

“It had the potential to be pretty bad if the wind would have been out of the north,” Davenport said. “It could have eaten up that whole field. With the wind out of the south, we had a firebreak so to speak with the railroad.”

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The fire was caused, Davenport said, by a power line that broke and fell into the field. The line ignited a patch of sage and strong winds spread the flames.

The department responded with a pumper truck and a service truck. Seven Demopolis firemen were on the scene.

The Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, who also responded with a pumper truck, a service truck and four firemen, assisted them.

The fire was held in check after only scorching the field.

No damage has been reported from the storms in the Demopolis area when The Times went to press Thursday night.

One death was reported from the storm system, according to press reports.

A man in Arkansas died when he was trapped his house after a lighting bolt set it aflame.

A tornado was reported in Sunshine County, Miss., but no injuries were reported.