County to get 2 brush trucks for volunteer firefighters

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NATCHEZ — Adams County is looking to put all of its volunteer fire stations on equal footing when it comes to fighting brush fires.

Adams County Fire Coordinator Darryl Smith has received permission from the county board of supervisors to seek two new brush trucks for the volunteer firefighter programs. The county currently has two such trucks, one assigned to the Liberty Road Fire Station and the other assigned to the Kingston Fire Station.

“What we are trying to do is make sure we cover the rest of the county,” Smith said. “We are trying to get one for the Foster Mound (department) in the north side of the county and one for the south side of the county with the Lake Montrose (department).”

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Grass fires plagued the county earlier this spring — including several that covered multiple acres — and prompted burn bans on two different occasions.

“We had the trucks going out of area, but we don’t want to get caught with the trucks out of district and then we have a grass fire in their district,” Smith said.

The brush trucks are useful in fighting field fires because they can access areas that might otherwise limit full-size firefighting rigs, he said.

“Sometimes when you get out in the fields with a grass fire, the fields get a little damp, the (fire) trucks are a little heavy and they can get stuck in the field,” Smith said. “We don’t want that to happen, so we want to get a smaller truck with four-by-four so they can maneuver better than the big trucks.”

The trucks Smith is seeking will come to the county by way of the Mississippi Forestry Commission, which has a firefighter program that allows counties to request brush trucks or pumps.

The brush trucks are often decommissioned military vehicles or pickup trucks that have been fitted with tanks and pumping systems, Smith said.

“Through the program, the vehicle is $100, but they have to be painted and in service within so many days,” he said.

The request for the brush trucks has already been submitted, Smith said, and it is now a matter of waiting.