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Controlled burn meant to keep Cooper County wildfire from spreading

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A controlled fire burns in the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.
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A controlled fire burns in the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hoping to keep the wildfire that devastated a Cooper County town over the weekend from spreading onto more public land.

Fish and Wildlife workers were conducting a controlled burn Monday in the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge in Cooper County. The refuge is near the spot of a more than 3,000-acre wildfire that burned about two dozen buildings. The fire also displaced families in Wooldridge, a village of about 60 people in northeast Cooper County.

Boone County dispatchers warned that smoke from the controlled fire could visibility problems in western Boone County.

A Cooper County fire official said authorities are investigating whether a combine in a field might have started the fire.

Dry and windy conditions helped fuel the fire's spread Saturday and it was finally contained Sunday.

The Moniteau County assessor was looking at properties near the Cooper County border to determine whether they had also been damaged.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: Cooper
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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Chris Bryant

Chris joined ABC17 in April of 2021 as Chief Photographer.
A multi-award-winning photographer whose career has spanned over 20 years in broadcasting from television and radio and included over 60 individual awards for photography, reporting, and editing.
Chris has covered stories from hurricanes to the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Royals’ two World Series runs and stories from Florida to Utah and Arizona.
Chris is married and a father of four.


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