Red Flag Warning in Effect, Firefighters Say No Burning

By Lindsay Clein

Published 03/13 2014 09:09PM

Updated 03/13 2014 10:15PM

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. --  As great as the warm and windy weather felt Thursday, these conditions aren't so great when it comes to spreading fires.

Fire departments across the county were busy fighting flames this afternoon and there is a red flag warning still in effect for our area.

A controlled burn got out of control today on Farm Road 153 in Pleasant Hope.  Five fire departments and about 50 personnel spent the afternoon fighting smoke and flames there.

"When there is a red flag warning, don't burn," says Fair Grove Fire Chief Mark Raymond.  "Don't burn trash, don't burn anything-- just don't burn."

That's the message firefighters across the Ozarks want people to hear loud and clear.

"Really, honestly, you don't want to burn anything until we get rain," says Raymond.  "Because it's dry as ever out here now."

Fire departments in several area cities and counties spent the day fighting flames and smoke.

"When the weather conditions are perfect for fires like right now, everyone is just busy," says Raymond.

A fire on Farm Road 153 in Pleasant Hope began as a controlled burn and ended with a field full of smoldering grass left behind by smoke and flames.

"It started by people burning a field off," says Raymond.  "It just got out of hand."

The fire even threatened a home at one point.
"This one spread pretty fast," Raymond says.  "And it jumped a farm road, so the wind has a lot to do with it."

Neighbors feared for their own properties.

"I've never seen fire trucks here before so this is new," says Raymond.  "I was a little worried about our property."

Firefighters urge us all to pay close attention to red flag warnings.

"A red flag warning means conditions are not good for burning between the humidity and wind and dryness of the ground," says Raymond.  "Everything all goes into it."

And as the windy, dry conditions continue-- firefighters urge everyone to put safety first, the burning can wait.

"Everybody is real good about putting red flag warnings out," says Raymond.  "And when it's dry like this, we don't want anyone burning."

There was also a massive grass fire in Walnut Grove today.

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