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Officials urge caution in cleaning up debris

As residents continue their recovery from Hurricane Katrina’sstorm damage, Mississippi Forestry Commission officials are urgingcaution with debris clean up.

Dale Brown, public affairs officer for the area MFC office, saidpeople should not burn debris or at least should wait until after arain. He indicated that a fire could spread.

“The accumulation of debris is not only in the yards but in theadjoining woods,” Brown said.

Brown said fuel availability concerns and limited communicationscould impair commission firefighters’ ability to respond towildfires.

“We’re suffering fuel shortages along with everybody else,”Brown said. “It creates a potential for a pretty severe wildfiresituation.”

Brown said setting aside for composting is another possibilityfor debris. He said citizens should make their homes fire safe byclearing debris from around them.

“We want them to be cautious,” Brown said. “They need to cleanup around their homes, but it would be good to postpone any debrisburning until after a rain.”

In Brookhaven, officials again urged citizens to place onlylimbs and trees in trash piles at curbside. Any other items, suchas shingles, should be placed in a separate pile as garbage.