Dry brush, gusty winds make for elevated fire danger

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EUREKA, MO – Our recent weather has made for dangerous fire conditions. Crews from several communities had work together to get a field fire under control Tuesday afternoon in Lebanon, IL.

The Lincoln County Fire Protection District also dealt with a large bean and cornfield fire near Silex, MO.

“It’s dry out. We are several inches, I think over four inches, behind since the beginning of September, which makes for dry fuels, grasses, leaves thing like that. We have low humidity, which is kind of a rarity for St. Louis. And we have wind,” Division Chief Scott Barthelmass with the Eureka Fire Protection District said.

On Tuesday, Missouri State Fire Marshal Tim Bean put out an alert saying, “Under the current drought and weather conditions, even a small outdoor fire can get out of control and spread rapidly, with the potential for property damage and injury.”

Barthelmass says now is the time to hold off outdoor burning

“If you’re thinking about burning off a field, if you are thinking about burning some leaves, some limbs, now is not the time to do it,” Barthelmass said.

He says even those with backyard fire pits and fireplaces need to be extra careful.

“Unfortunately, we see house fires that come from these backyard fireplaces, fire pits because they get too hot and too close to the house or they even take their embers and dump them in the trash and the trash can is too close to the house,” Barthelmass said.

Smokers are asked to be extra cautious with cigarette butts, making sure they are extinguished and never throwing them out a window.

Barthelmass says we really need to be fire safe over the next couple of days.”

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch that will be in effect Wednesday afternoon for central and eastern Missouri and parts of west central and southwest Illinois.

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