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Smoke from Kansas, Oklahoma wildfires spreads to Missouri

Parts of Missouri saw and smelled smoke from the wildfires in Kansas and Oklahoma.

So far, the fire has burned more than 400,000 acres in the two states.

Smoke from the blaze has been detected as far east as Springfield, 290 miles away, and northeast in St. Louis, about 460 miles away, according to the National Weather Service.

Those winds may have even brought the smoke to parts of Jefferson City.

Firefighters investigated two reports of smoke in different parts of town Thursday morning, according to Fire Chief Matt Schofield.

“We investigated both those reports of smoke in the area,” Schofield said. “We weren’t able to find anything, but we went ahead and did a thorough search of the area to make sure there was nothing on fire.”

Jefferson City police responded to one of the calls as well and told ABC 17 News they thought the smoke was from the Kansas and Oklahoma wildfires.

Schofield said grassfires like that are hard to contain, especially with the recent dry and windy conditions. But the Jefferson City Fire Department is equipped to deal with such fires that may have crews battling flames for hours or even days.

“Typically you have lighter-weight gear with less insulation on it,” Schofield said. “It’s not structural fire-fighting gear so you can travel more, you’re more mobile, more agile and able to put the fire out over the course of a day or operational period.”

The department also has smaller trucks with four-wheel drive that can get to off-road areas the larger fire engines might not be able to.

The Jefferson City Fire Department urges residents to always be careful when doing an open or controlled outdoor burn.

If you do, Schofield said to make sure the area is always under supervision and there is a source of water nearby in case the fire needs to be extinguished.

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