By Brenda Fike

Ledger Managing Editor

Little Dixie Fire Protection District has been busy this week battling nature cover fires.

People are urged not to burn due to the wind and dry conditions.

"We are asking everyone to refrain from burning until conditions improve," stated Little Dixie Chief Ken Hoover. "The state has been issuing a Red Flag burning restriction all week," Hoover said.

A Red Flag restriction is a warning issued letting people know that outdoor burning could become difficult to control.

Little Dixie firefighters battled a natural cover fire Tuesday on Missouri 22, two miles west of Thompson on the property of Gary Stowers. After the first initial call, personnel returned to the scene three more times with the last call coming in early Wednesday morning. Station 1 was dispatched to the first call at 12:26 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arrival firefighters found a large amount of natural cover to be burning. Approximately 30 acres and numerous railroad ties were burning along both sets of railroad tracks.

According to Hoover, the cause of the fire started on the Gary Stowers property and spread to adjoin areas.

Little Dixie units cleared the scene at 4:08 p.m.

Little Dixie Station 1 and 3 responded to the emergency with 13 firefighters and four pieces of fire apparatus. Boone County Fire District provided trucks and firefighters to assist. Firefighters from Station 4 returned to the scene at 5:36 p.m., Tuesday with 10 firefighters and two pieces of fire apparatus. They cleared the scene at 8:34 p.m. Firefighters returned to the property again at 9:19 p.m. Upon arrival firefighters found the railroad right of way and adjoining property was burning again, said Hoover. Personnel cleared the scene at 11:39 p.m. Stations 4, 3 and 1 responded to the emergency with 16 firefighters and four pieces of fire apparatus. The fire continued into Wednesday when Station 4 received a call at 2:31 a.m. Upon arrival firefighters found the railroad right of way and adjoining property burning again. Personnel stayed on the scene until 4:03 a.m. with six firefighters and two pieces of fire apparatus.

There were no injuries from the fire.

Little Dixie also responded to the following natural grass fires this week. At 2:23 p.m., November 27, Station 3 was dispatched to the Edgar Orth property in the 5000 block of Audrain Road 217, Centralia. Upon arrive firefighters found a small amount of sawed wood burning along with approximately a half acre of grass and brush. According to Hoover, the cause of the fire was a pile of sawed wood that had been cut several days before the fire and had rekindled and spread. Minor fire damage was limited to the grass area. Little Dixie units cleared the scene at 4:52 p.m. Four firefighters responded to the fire, along with two pieces of apparatus. There were no injuries.

At 2 p.m., November 29, Station 1 was dispatched the the Randy Fritz property in the 20000 block of Audrain Road 928, Mexico at 2:49 p.m. Upon arrival firefighters found approximately five acres of grass and brush burning. The fire apparently started as the owner was doing a controlled burn and it got out of control and spread to adjoining areas. Little Dixie cleared the scene at 4:49 p.m. Seven firefighters battled the fire with two pieces of fire apparatus. There were no injuries.

At 3:51 a.m. Thursday, Station 1 was dispatched to a tree and natural cover fire in the 1200 block of Highway A, Benton City on the John and Carla McBride property. Upon arrival firefighters found a large hollow tree and a small amount of grass burning. According to the report, the cause of the fire started as the owner had burned a fence line on Wednesday and an ember blew into the top of the tree. Fire crews cut the tree down and extinguished the fire. They cleared the scene at 4:57 a.m. Seven firefighters responded with three pieces of fire apparatus. There were no injuries.