Firefighters got the call at 11 a.m. today that a wildfire was ablaze in the Mount Vernon area. Firefighters from several different departments, ALEA, and the Alabama Forestry Commission worked all day trying to contain this wildfire.
The scene was primarily being worked on Shepard House Road just off of the Coy Smith Highway. When News 5 first arrived on scene flames were licking the side of Shepard House Road and a large cloud of smoke had engulfed the top of the trees.
We spoke with Lieutenant Andrew Byrd of the Calcedeavor Fire and Rescue, “Right now as you can see we have close to 150-200 acres of woods fire. We don’t know at this time the exact estimate because of how fast the winds blowing.”
Wind was the main concern for officials as they worked to contain this fire. Shortly after noon, the Alabama Forestry Commission began their containment efforts. Byrd said, “We’re trying right now to do containment on it because of course right now with the wind blowing as high as it is there’s not a lot for us to do other than to protect houses.”
The heavy winds started pushing the fire towards two homes at the end of Shepard House Road. Susan Sullivan, a resident, was on scene and was very concerned, “this is my mother’s house and my house is down the road and we are very worried because this is a pretty bad fire, I just hope it don’t get in this field and my mother’s house being right here that’s what bothers me.”
ALEA then brought in a helicopter in to survey the scene from the sky. Due to the high winds they determined that water needed to be dropped on the fire from the air.
The cause of the fire is not yet known but Benji Elmore , with the Alabama Forestry Commission, says this particular area is a hot spot for fires as well as arson.