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Stubborn Nokomis wildfire contained again

News Staff Writer

A wildfire that has raged — on and off — north of Nokomis for more than two weeks has been contained again, and firefighters are keeping their fingers crossed that it will stay contained. But, if significant rain doesn’t come soon, the crossed fingers won’t do any good.
The wilderness blaze, which has been put in containment five times now, has burned an estimated 125 acres as firefighters from Alabama Forestry Commission, at least two municipal fire departments and at least three volunteer firefighting units have fought to keep it at bay.
AFC personnel have been joined by firemen from Atmore and Poarch, as well as volunteers from Nokomis, Perdido and Lottie.
Atmore fire Chief Ron Peebles, who has fought fires for more than four decades, said the Nokomis blaze isn’t the largest one with which he has ever been involved, but it has been the most stubborn.
“I’ve seen bigger ones, with more acreage, but this has been the hardest one to put out and keep out that I’ve ever seen,” Peebles said as he surveyed the fire area Tuesday morning, September 12. “We got it out, and it’s held down since last Friday (September 8). Loggers are in there cutting timber right now, so I don’t think there’s as much danger of it getting back up.”
The reason for the forest fire’s stubbornness is plain to see.
“The reason it’s been so hard keeping this one out is, it’s so stinking dry everywhere,” the AFD chief said. “Things can be going good, then an ember can fly over (the containment berm) and restart the whole thing. This is already not a good situation; without some rain, it could get worse.”
Still, he said, he’s keeping those fingers crossed.
“We (firefighting crews) haven’t been back in a couple of days, so hopefully it’s done with,” he said. “So far this morning I haven’t seen any smoke anywhere, and that’s always a good sign.”