HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. – Interstate 10 near the Louisiana-Mississippi border was shut down Friday afternoon for what troopers said was a fire along the roadway that grew into a large wildfire.
Several agencies, including the Mississippi Forestry Commission, responded to the flames that were estimated to have burned at least 200 acres.
Troopers said they were forced to shut down the roadway due to the proximity of the flames and smoke impacting visibility.
The shutdown led to traffic backups between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Gulfport, Mississippi, as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.
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The Mississippi Forestry Commission reported that the wildfire was 25% contained, and dozens of crews were working to increase containment into the night.
Smoke from the fire was seen on Doppler radar moving from west to east across parts of southern Mississippi.
No homes were reported to be threatened by the flames, and the cause of the blaze is unknown.
A MFC spokesperson said a lack of rainfall has caused the fire danger to creep up, and more than half a dozen counties are under burn bans to try to prevent accidental wildfires.
An extensive heat wave across the South has led to record-breaking temperatures and drier-than-average conditions.
The FOX Forecast Center said there does appear to be some relief from the heat along the Gulf Coast, and rain chances are expected to increase next week.