Smoke from controlled fires blows into downtown

Monday, March 17, 2014 | 8:19 p.m. CDT; updated 10:27 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 17, 2014

COLUMBIA — The smoke that lingered over downtown Columbia on Monday mostly came from two controlled fires burning south of town, said Suzanne Fred, a shift supervisor with Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications.

There were six controlled burns planned Monday, but the biggest two were a 200-acre fire in the Eagle Bluffs Wildlife Conservation Area and a 70-acre fire near Myers Lane, Fred said.

Calm, northerly winds blew smoke from those fires into town, said Butch Dye, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. Although the winds only blew between 3 and 5 mph, Dye said it was still enough to waft the smoke into town.

The other fires south of downtown burned near Schooler Road, Scott Boulevard, Rangeline Road and the intersection of Highway 40 and Route J, Fred said.

All of the controlled fires in the area either had a permit from the city or are being handled by the Missouri Department of Conservation, said Scott Smith, a spokesman for Joint Communications.

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