ROLLA, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s not anywhere near the scale of the massive wildfire that has terrorized residents in Colorado, but a fire that broke out Thursday southeast of Rolla Missouri has now grown to roughly 550 acres.
“Conditions are very bad for this time of year,” explains Jody Eberly, fire management coordinator for Mark Twain National Forest. “Normally we’re out of fire season in Missouri, but the hot and dry weather has made fuels very dry and susceptible to starting a fire from almost any ignition source.”
No word yet on what might have touched off the blaze, which was first reported around 10:15 a.m. Thursday.
About three-dozen fire personnel from departments throughout the surrounding area are currently battling the blaze, with several fire engines and bulldozers to supplement their effort.
A helicopter to attack the flames from above is expected to arrive Friday or early Saturday, Eberly says.
The heart of the blaze is located along Hwy. 32 about six miles east of Bixby, and roughly 10 miles southwest of Potosi.
There are some homes nearby but there has been no property damage reported, and no evacuations to this point.
The ongoing heat and humidity are a major concern as the blaze continues to rage, Eberly admits.
They’re also hoping to prevent any more major fires from breaking out as the 4th of July holiday nears.
“I would like to encourage everybody out there to be very, very careful with ignition sources,” Eberly tells KMOX News. “Any kind of fire…even equipment (like lawn mowers) are starting fires because of the dry fuel that we have.”
The status of the Mark Twain National Forest fire and efforts to control it can be monitored by logging onto www.fs.usda.gov.