COLUMBIA, Mo.- The McBaine Burr Oak tree outside of Columbia, Mo. caught on fire this morning. It is the oldest Bur Oak tree in the state and is estimated to be about 350-400 years old.
Fire crews responded to the scene around 9 a.m. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time and officials believe lightning sparked the fire.
Neighbors in the area reported hearing the loud crack from the thunder then said they saw the tree smoking.
Fire crews say the fire was inside the tree making it even harder to fight because of its location.
Officials believe the tree is still stable and will be monitoring it throughout the day to make sure the fire doesn’t flare back up.
The tree is on the Lewis and Clark Historic trail. It is about a half-mile from the Missouri River and the men on the Lewis and Clark expedition would have traveled within sight of the tree.