Historic tree fire

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2001

A landmark tree at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians caught fire Wednesday afternoon after being struck by lightning. The 144-foot sweet pecan tree was designated a Co-Champion Mississippi Tree by the Mississippi Forestry Commission as one the largest of its species. In 1996, West Primary School students and PTA members collected pennies to save the tree, which is estimated to have lived more than 200 years. Above, Natchez firefighter Mike Weathersby extinguishes the fire smoldering inside the tree by dowsing it with a non-combustible foam.