JEFFERSON CITY- The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the National Weather Service are urging extra caution with open burning in Missouri due to low moisture conditions, low humidity and high winds that increase the danger of wildland fires.
“With the current weather conditions in Missouri, there is a real danger of what is believed to be a controlled burn quickly getting out of control,” said Missouri State Fire Marshal Randy Cole. “During these conditions we urge you to refrain from burning leaves or brush for the foreseeable future.”
The National Weather Service has been monitoring conditions and has been in close contact with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. “The weather has been quite dry across Missouri this fall,” said Jon Carney, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “The dry and occasionally breezy weather pattern is expected to continue for at least the next week.”
Cole said fall and spring are the peak times of year for firefighters to respond to wildland fires that start out as controlled burns. The fires all too often result in property damage, injury and even death. Cole said three people died in February and March in Missouri when controlled burns got out of hand.
Cole urged the following precautions:
· Check for local burn bans or restrictions before conducting any open burning.
· Keep fire a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings.
· Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start the fire.
· Do not leave a fire unattended.
· Have fire extinguishment materials on hand, including a water supply, shovels and rakes.
· Be prepared to extinguish your fire if the winds pick up.
· Do not delay a call for help — call the fire department immediately at the first sign of the fire getting out of control.