Callaway chiefs issue burn warning

With the National Weather Service issuing a red flag warning that “dry conditions and very strong surface winds will result in critical fire weather conditions for most of the day Tuesday,” in a number of central and southern Missouri counties, Callaway County fire officials also are urging area residents to be cautious.

The experts are asking citizens not to attempt any controlled burns over the next few days until weather conditions make it a less dangerous undertaking.

“As of sunset tonight, there will be no fires in Fulton until further notice ... until we get some moisture,” Fulton Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt said Monday afternoon. “Your house and your belongings aren’t worth burning a barrel of trash. It’s not worth losing your home or your children getting hurt.”

Coffelt said the Fulton Fire Department has not had a lot of problems with brush fires recently — as did a firefighter with the Central Callaway Fire Protection District — but Lt. Lara Karhoff said the North Callaway Fire Protection District has dealt with “quite a few.”

“The county has had several each day,” Karhoff said, noting Chief Harley Hyde is worried about the current weather conditions and wants to issue a no-burn order for his district.

“Everyone that burns typically has good intentions, but when that grass (fire) gets out of control ... you have a life and safety issue,” Karhoff said. “Even a little (one) acre fire can turn into a five-acre fire in minutes ... it would spread very quickly.”

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