Sunflower County's first County Fire Chiefs Meeting for 2002 was put on hold Thursday night for the first multiple-alarm fire of the year.

About 6:00pm, District 4 - Sunflower firefighters were notified of hay burning under a shed near a cotton gin in the Town of Sunflower. Responding members reported heavy smoke conditions near downtown. Upon arrival they found a 150' x 30' wooden strucure used to store hay bales was almost fully involved. A second alarm was transmittied, bringing personnel from District 3 - Moorhead. Several chiefs and officers from other departments responded as well, temporarly postponing the quarterly meeting of county fire chiefs. Firefireghters manned two 2.5" handlines, a 1.5" handline, and a deluge from one engine for about two hours. The last unit was cleared from the scene at approximately 9:00pm. In addition to firefighters from Sunflower and Moorhead, officers from District 2 - Inverness, the county fire coordinator, assistant arson investigator, and the county's Rehab Support Services responded to the alarm.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by city and county law enforcement officials, who questioned several witnesses during the incident.