Lightning strike starts fire in remote coastal Alabama refuge
BON SECOUR, Ala. (AP) - Morning showers provided welcome relief
Tuesday to firefighters battling a wildfire that was ignited by a
lightening strike on an isolated portion of the Bon Secour National
Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials originally thought it
would take several days to control the fire partly because of its
remote location, but spokesman Jeremy Keller said the agency plans
to start demobilizing firefighters Wednesday.
"We got rained out this morning," Keller said Tuesday
afternoon. "We had to pull people out because of the lightning,
but we just sent more people out. We're going to be patrolling over
the next couple of days."
Keller said a total of 190 acres were destroyed by Tuesday
morning. Acreage burned included piney woods and sawgrass marshes
that are along Bon Secour Bay and northeast of The Rookery
subdivision. The property is part of the refuge's 2,000-acre Little
Point Clear Unit about 14 miles east of Alabama 59 in Gulf Shores.
Wildlife officials have said no homes were in immediate danger.
Refuge officials aren't certain when the fire started, but said
a storm with lightning moved through the area Sunday morning.
The Fort Morgan Volunteer Fire Department and U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service firefighters dispatched from Mississippi battled
the blaze initially. They were joined by Gulf Shores firefighters
and the Alabama Forestry Commission.
While most of the Wildlife Service's helicopters that are
equipped to drop water on forest fires are committed to Western
states, officials here have one helicopter to view the fire from
above and plan how to contain it.
Information from: Press-Register,