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Extreme drought conditions prompting burn bans across Mid-Missouri

Editor's note: This story has been clarified to say a burn ban has not been issued in Boone County, but one could be issued, if conditions worsen.


Some Mid-Missouri fire departments and local governments are issuing burn bans and warnings as extreme drought continues to grip much of the area.

On Tuesday the city of Auxvasse issued a burn ban, which also means no fireworks. The Fulton Fire Department has also implemented a burn ban due to ongoing drought conditions.

Cooper County issued a fire advisory which comes as the heat index is forecast to climb between 104 to 107 degrees across Central Missouri this week. 

The ban prohibits burning anything in the city until further notice. 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of Missouri is experiencing moderate to extreme drought.  All of Cole County, the southern half of Callaway County and several other Mid-Missouri counties are listed under extreme drought conditions. 

The ongoing drought conditions are forcing counties across Central Missouri to take action. 

Monroe County issued a burn ban on Monday that is still in effect. Chariton County issued a burn advisory Monday that discourages any type of bonfire, campfires and controlled burns. The Rolla Police Department posted a similar announcement on Facebook. 

With the July 4 weekend around the corner, officials are warning people to be extra cautious when barbecuing or shooting off fireworks. 

"When you take a look at the risk we are coming into a holiday season where people camp out, and use a lot of open pits and fires along with fireworks, especially aerial fireworks which create an additional hazard to those drought conditions," Lt William Johnson of the Cooper County Fire Protection District said.

The City of Rosebud has already rescheduled its Fourth of July firework show to Sept. 2 due to safety concerns from the drought. 

Fulton fire chief Kevin Coffelt says that many issues that come up during these dry conditions can be avoided.

"Just use your head if it’s dry and windy don’t take a chance of burning trash or anything wait until we get a little bit of rain," Coffelt told ABC 17.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. wildfires have burned over 59 million acres in the past decade. The dry conditions and high temperatures combine for dangerous conditions for a wildfire to start.

Gale Blomenkamp told ABC 17 that Boone County does not plan on issuing a burn ban. The department said on social media that if conditions continue to get worse -- or if controlled burns become out of control -- it may issue a full burn ban.

Burning is already illegal within Columbia and Jefferson City city limits.

Article Topic Follows: Fire

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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