Crews in Columbia and Boone County saw at least 10 outside fires just on Monday, after another busy weekend. Officials say the high winds and dry conditions quickly spread flames.
One blaze off Route E north of the Columbia mall burned around three acres. The smoke was so bad, someone inside the nearby Columbia Health Center pulled the fire alarm, evacuating the entire building.
Firefighters went from one call to the next on Monday. They are warning residents to avoid burning trash or yard waste until the winds die down in the evening. And more than anything, they are telling people to never leave flames unattended.