High temperatures, gusting winds raise fire danger

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BOONE COUNTY - High winds and high temperatures brought an elevated fire danger to Boone County Monday afternoon. Under these conditions, fires not only start, but spread rapidly.

Boone County Fire Protection District Spokesperson Gale Blomenkamp said this time of year is the driest for mid-Missouri.

"Grasses are very dry right now, even though the ground is wet, the grass is very dry," he said. He said under these conditions fires can start easily from a flat tire sparking to a tossed cigarette.

Blomenkamp said Monday's conditions are normal for the Boone County area this time of year; Mid-Missouri's natural cover fire season lasts from late February into March and April. 

KOMU 8 Weathercaster Kenton Gewecke said that at noon in Boone County winds gusted at more than 25 miles per hour. He said the winds, coupled with high temperatures, low humidity and dead grass in the area, make for a dangerous combination when flames are present. 

"Don't barbecue today," he said. "Not only for your sake, but for your neighbor's sake too because if a fire starts, it can spread rapidly," he said.

The Boone County Fire Protection District reminded residents that:

  • Permits are required to burn within Columbia city limits. 
  • Check local forecasts before any open burning
  • Have a water source nearby
  • Call 911 immediately if fire grows larger than anticipated.
The Special Weather Statement for Boone County remains in effect from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Temperatures are expected to drop Tuesday.

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