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Visiting firefighters train at NAS Meridian

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
April 24, 2001
The large columns of smoke filling the air around Naval Air Station Meridian this weekend weren't from out-of-control fires, but from training exercise designed to help visiting firefighters.
Officials at NAS Meridian burned almost 1,000 acres during the weekend as part of a training exercise for a team of eight firefighters from the Prescribed Fire Training Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
Keith Hackbarth, one of the visiting firefighters, said Southern environments respond differently to fire.
Hackbarth said the South's flatter terrain and higher number of rural roads make controlling a fire easier than it is in the West.
Copeland said the controlled burns also cut down on the risk of a major forest fires and help create room for new vegetation.
Robert Morrow, a trainer for the fire center, said the firefighters would be moving on to Talladega, Ala., today to continue their training.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.