Strong Winds Bring Fires to Boone County

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BOONE COUNTY - The strong winds experienced around mid-Missouri on Tuesday caused more damage than just a "skirt alert" for the ladies.

The wind became dangerous once the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory and a fire weather warning Tuesday morning. A mixture of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures can result in perfect fire conditions.

Boone County alone saw more than five fires Tuesday afternoon.

Gale Blomenkamp, Battalion Chief of the Boone County Fire Department, said it doesn't take much to start a fire in these conditions. He said, "Just a spark. A spark alone can start a major woodland fire within just minutes." Blomenkamp encouraged people not to burn anything on days like Tuesday.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to burn something while the wind is strong:

  • Make sure to check local weather forecasts before your burn. It's always better to burn after rain.
  • Have a water source nearby in case things get out of control.
  • Never burn materials close to a structure, like a house or a building.
  • Buring is typically more safe in the morning when winds are calmer and humidity is higher.

In mid-Missouri, firefighters usually see the most fires in February, March, and April.

Blomenkamp said, "This time of year, the winds are very sparatic here in mid-Missouri, so it's difficult for people to understand. We could recommend anything less than 5 or 10 mph. If you have winds approaching those speeds, people should think twice about doing a controlled burn."

Blomenkamp said if you ever have a question about whether it's safe or not to start a burn, call the Boone County Fire Department.