GRAVOIS MILLS, Mo. — Firefighters in Gravois Mills battled over half a dozen brush fires over the weekend, and Francis the Armadillo lost his home to the flames on Saturday.

Deputy Chief John Scheper of the Gravois Fire Protection District said the area has been at high risk for out-of-control fires for the last two weeks, and the risk is projected to remain high until at least Wednesday.

Francis was found Saturday, April 29, during an out-of-control fire where he received a few minor burns. He is expected to make a full recovery, however.

He was relocated to a new home in an unburned part of the woods.

Several agencies around the Ozarks have asked residents to keep from burning while the fire risk remains high.

Although wind gusts in the area haven’t been enough to issue a red flag warning, OzarksFirst’s Chief Meteorologist Jamie Warriner said that the risk of fires getting out of control is elevated and will remain that way through Tuesday. 

“People should be cautious with fire sources and avoid burning brush at this time,” said Jamie.

A red flag warning occurs when sustained winds are above 20 mph with frequent gusts over 30 mph, and relative humidity values fall below 25%.

Today’s conditions fall just below that with gusts of 25 to 30 mph and relative humidity values of 25 to 30%.