On a sadden note:

USDA Forest Service
Southern Region - 8
National Forests in Mississippi
Homochitto National Forest
Media Contact: Mary Bell Lunsford
Ph: 601-384-5876 Cell: 601-660-6322

For Immediate Release February 7, 2001

MEADVILLE, MS -- Employees on the Homochitto National Forest were saddened Tuesday by the sudden death of an employee.

Mary Lynn Waite, 49, died Tuesday, Feb. 6 after participating in the light level duty "walk test" for Wildland Firefighters. Initial autopsy report attributes her death to an apparent heart attack, Forest Service Officials said. An agency investigation is under way.

Ms. Waite, a computer assistant, had worked on the Homochitto for about two and half years. She had completed a similar light level duty test last year and participated in support of wildfire suppression last summer. She is survived by her husband Mike Waite, Forestry Technician on the Homochitto Ranger District, and three children.

For more information, contact Mary Bell Lunsford, Meadville Office, at 601-384-5876 or Wendolyn Young, Jackson Office, at 601-965-4391.