Missouri fires burn across southern part of state

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 12:32 p.m. CST; updated 1:50 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KANSAS CITY — Wind-blown fires have burned hundreds of acres in several southwestern and southeastern Missouri counties. Smaller isolated fires also were reported in Kansas.

The southwest Missouri fire started about noon Tuesday. It covered more than 1,500 acres near Bennett Spring State Park before it was contained early Wednesday.

In the southeastern part of the state, a large forest fire began burning Tuesday afternoon between Wappapello and Greenville. A county dispatcher said hundreds of acres burned in a clear-cut section of forest.

In Kansas, wind gusts of nearly 50 mph were reported Tuesday, and most of the state was under a red-flag fire warning. Authorities said a two-vehicle collision Tuesday in Wichita ignited a grass fire that needed six fire trucks and their crews to extinguish.

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