State DEQ to investigate haze over Warren

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smoky haze covering Vicksburg this morning was coming from an underground fire that has burned for several weeks at a brush and tree debris site near the 2000 block of U.S. 80, said Jerry Briggs, chief of the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department.

Kelly Worthy, Warren County volunteer fire coordinator, said this morning he has contacted the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which is expected to send a representative to decide if the smoke is hazardous.

“They have been working on it this morning to try to get some equipment in there and get the fire out,” said Briggs. Culkin volunteers have contributed to the effort over the weeks, including for a period this morning around 4, he added.

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Farmers on U.S. 61 North and across the Mississippi River in Louisiana are burning off corn fields, and that is contributing to the haze, said Briggs.

Worthy and Briggs said they do not know who owns the burning parcel, but Briggs believes the owner is out of town.