A large fire destroyed an inactive railroad trestle and at least 600 feet of line in a rural area near the northeast corner of Oktibbeha County on Friday. Photo by: Courtesy photo/Oktibbeha County Fire Services
November 5, 2016 10:34:14 PM
A large fire destroyed an inactive railroad trestle and at least 600 feet of line in a rural wooded stretch near the northeast corner of Oktibbeha County on Friday.
East Oktibbeha Fire and Rescue responded to the scene at 2:56 p.m. and battled the blaze late into the evening with aid from the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said the blaze was not immediately discovered due to its isolated location and had likely been burning since Thursday.
No injuries resulted from the fire, he said.
"Four-wheel-drive fire apparatuses, two Forestry Commission bulldozers, chain saws and hard work finally stopped the progress of the fire," Rosenhan said.
He added the destruction marks a substantial loss for the line's owner, Kansas City Southern Railway Company, because the route was maintained and capable of service despite being inactive for several years.
"Luckily it didn't turn into a 300-acre brush fire, and the East Oktibbeha boys did a good job getting it done," he said.
Rosenhan said after the initial emergency response on Friday, a railroad contractor brought track hoes and tractors to the scene to clear the right of way and bury debris away from the surrounding woods.
Railroad officials and contractors are evaluating the damage, and Kansas City Southern will lead the investigation into the cause of the fire, Rosenhan said.
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