Firefighters battle multiple cover fires in Boone County

At least 65 acres burned througout the area

boone county cover fires

COLUMBIA, Mo. - At least 65 acres of land burned throughout rural Boone County on Sunday as mid-Missouri lands in a red flag warning.

Five outside cover fires happened one after another beginning at 2:30 p.m.

One of them on Hatton Chapel Road threatened a nearby home and barn and engulfed a truck. The owner of the truck told ABC 17 he got stuck in the mud and left his truck to go call for a tow. When he returned, flames had already fully taken the vehicle and started to spread throughout the tall grass nearby.

Fire officials said even hot tailpipe or catalytic converter can ignite grass in red flag conditions.

Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp with the Boone County Fire Protection District said it took more than 14 units to contain the blaze that burned an estimated 30 acres of land. Fortunately, crews contained the fire before it reached a nearby home and barn.

About one hour later, another fire began on Bourbon Road just outside of Sturgeon. That fire claimed 25 acres of land before seven units worked to douse the flames. Boone County Fire Protection District's Chuck Leake told ABC 17 a controlled burn caught the wind and spread in a matter of minutes.

Within 50 minutes, another call for help came from Akeman Bridge Road where nine units partnered to contain a blaze to just 10 acres of burned land.

With all of the fires today, fire officials said it caused them to change up their tactics. Crews fought on the ground using rakes, blowers and pump packs full with five gallons of water to moisten surrounding ground and prevent anymore spreading.

"We're starting to have to fight fires with this wind and how dry it is like they do out west," Leake said. "People, help us. They've got to stop burning right now. Let us get some rain. It can wait a little bit."

Most of the fire crews working today used volunteer firefighters. Leake said it's just another reason to hold back on doing controlled burns.

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