BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - Drier winds and low relative humidity values are causing mid-Missouri to be under a heightened fire risk Saturday, so any outdoor burning is discouraged, according to ABC 17's stormtrack meteorologist Kevin Schneider.
Gale Blomenkamp, assistant fire chief for the Boone County Fire Protection District, said this time of year is natural cover fire season, meaning the conditions are normally dry, windy and with low humidity, making it easier for a fire to start or spread quickly.
Blomenkamp said that despite mid-Missouri receiving rain recently, vegetation is still dry and even a small controlled burn could get out of control fairly quickly.
Boone County firefighters responded to a fire that started as a small controlled burn on Route E Friday afternoon, Blomenkamp said. He said although it remained small, it could've been much worse because the fire reached two old barns.
Blomenkamp said some of the wood on the barns caught fire.
Blomenkamp said if someone wanted to do a controlled burn, they should call their local fire district to find out if it's a good day to do it or not.
"What we're looking at is wind speed and wind direction; humidity; when our last moisture was; what kind of area they're looking at burning; how big of an area they're looking at burning; what's the topography around it," Blomenkamp said.
He said fire travels faster uphill because of the preheating conditions.
Blomenkamp said if someone does need to burn, there are several precautions they need to take.
"So if you're going to do a small burn, make sure you have everything mowed down to a very low level around it, or scrape to bare dirt; that you have a water supply handy; that you have more than one set of eyes on the fire; and that you don't burn something too large that you can control yourself," Blomenkamp said.