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Fire crews respond to multiple brush fires

Fire crews said warmer temperatures and windy conditions are a recipe for a brush fire.

Crews have responded to more than a dozen brush fires since Friday.

“Conditions today…very low humidity, warmer temperatures and high winds,” said John Metz with the Columbia Fire Department. “These conditions are very conducive to rapid fire spread.”

Metz said these conditions are what caused a fire on Paris Road Monday to burn nearly four acres in a short amount of time.

Crews were able to get it under control within 20 minutes, but they’re warning people to be very careful.

“As long as we’ve got no moisture coming from the sky to get this ground where it’s not so dry, and with the winds that we’re having, we’re going to continue to have fires like this,” said Chuck Leake with the Boone County Fire Protection District.

A fire on Hatton Chapel Road burned nearly two acres of a five acre property of Sally Doyle’s five acre property. She said she walked outside and was scared of the sight.

“There was smoke coming over the top of the house and I come out and all this is burnt,” Doyle told ABC 17 News.

Leake said the fire was easy to contain in a short amount of time. But he said during this time of season, they have to strategically plan how to use their resources.

“With all the fires going on right now, we have to look at resource management and being able to divert them off from this call and on to another call or being able to hold them in place to take care of what we need to do,” Leake said.

He said they don’t issue burn bans in the county, so fire crews encourage people to burn things at lower risk times of day.

“If you’ve really got to burn off an area, late in evening when there’s a little more humidity in the air, the sun’s going down, and the wind has usually died down,” Leake said. “Around dusk, it’s a safer time to do this but you can’t light it and walk away.”

Cole County and Jefferson City are also facing the same issues. On Monday, the Jefferson City Fire Department responded to at least six brush fires in a four hour span.

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