As of 4 p.m. Friday, there have been eight natural cover fires in Boone County.
Gale Blomenkamp, Boone County Fire Protection District division chief, said this is not unusual for this time of the year.
“This is technically our busiest time for wildfires,” Blomenkamp said. “This is mid-Missouri’s wildfire season, which is very different from Colorado, California, Florida … they have it mid- to late summer.”
Blomenkamp blames this on the low humidity, high winds and very dry grasses, all of which are conducive for natural cover fires.
“We’re urging people to not do any open burning right now, especially with the winds as erratic and strong as they are,” he said.
The worst fire today happened near 7124 Highway UU, where the fire spread over 12 acres and was moving towards houses.
Blomenkamp said fire officials suspect somebody dumped hot ashes outside and started the fire.
“It just takes a spark to cause one of these fires to burn out of control, and that’s what happened on this one,” Blomenkamp said.
Blomenkamp said there is a possibility there will be more similar fires through the weekend because of the warm weather. He also said he anticipates increased numbers of fires until the county receives spring rains.
“Until we get our spring rains and get things greening up, we’re going to be faced with natural cover fires,” he said. “Until April, we’re going to be very busy.”