JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today ordered the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in response to fires and a prolonged period of record heat and low precipitation across Missouri. The Governor also ordered the Missouri National Guard to ready the assets and resources it would need to support firefighting operations in Missouri. This Missouri Division of Fire Safety is assisting with the coordination of resources.

In Iron County, Mo., approximately 550 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest already have burned, and approximately 2,000 additional acres are at risk. U.S. Forest Service personnel and assets are fighting the fire on federal land. Missouri’s Fire Mutual Aid Program is deploying additional personnel, trucks and tankers to the area to protect homes and other structures near Bixby, Mo.

“Extremely hot and dry conditions across our state have created conditions that are prone for fires as we have seen in several counties in recent days,” Gov. Nixon said. “Local, state and federal personnel are working together to fight significant fires in Iron County, and my administration will make available any resources necessary to combat this fire. As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, I urge Missourians to take precautions to prevent fires, check on their neighbors and stay safe.”

Because of the forecast of prolonged heat and low precipitation, Gov. Nixon encourages Missourians to remember the following fire safety tips:

Check with local officials before burning or using fireworks. Where burning or fireworks are permitted, use extreme caution.

Use caution with outdoor cooking, and dispose of cigar and cigarette butts properly. These are the sources of many accidental fires.

In fields and other areas with heavy grasses, use caution when driving or operating farm equipment. A number of fires have started as a result of dry, tall grass coming into contact with hot muffler or sparks from equipment. Use extra caution, and don’t delay in calling the local fire department if a fire starts.


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