COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
It was an ABC 17 News Weather Alert Day Saturday due to strong winds and a Red Flag Warning.
Across mid-Missouri there were multiple small brush fires and power poles knocked down.
The National Weather Service reported wind gusts ranging from 35 to 50 mph on Saturday. The area also saw drought conditions and low humidity.
During a Red Flag Warning, there is a combination of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures that contribute to the likelihood of fires that develop to spread rapidly.
Assistant Chief of Boone County Fire Protection District Gale Blomenkamp said the department was ready for any fires that could’ve occurred during the day because it's the beginning of the dry season.
“We’re just now coming into our dry season over the winter and spring actually,” Blomenkamp said. “So we’re going to see these types of conditions now probably through April.”
Blomenkamp said the thing that made dry season more dangerous Saturday were the wind speeds.
“We’re looking at winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts over 40,” Blomenkamp said.
He said as things start to go dormant and die off the area can expect to see higher fire danger and red flag warning days.
Blomenkamp said it is important for people to not burn things during a Red Flag Warning.
“Be cautious,” Blomenkamp said. “No burning on days like today. Not even burning your trash with a grate on it because those embers can escape the grate and then cause a fire.”
He said bonfires are not a good idea during these conditions but are OK to happen with winds that are 5 to 10 mph.
“When the temperatures are in the 70’s and relative humidity is under 25% and the winds are this strong its best not to burn anything,” Blomenkamp said.