High winds and dry weather make for dangerous conditions

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Firefighters in the Ozarks are urging people to use common sense and be cautious this week.
We’re experiencing unusually warm temperatures for the middle of February, and when that’s mixed with low humidity, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Firefighters in Laclede County spent the afternoon putting out a grass fire near Sleeper.
“Somebody was just burning a brush pile,” said Sleeper-Stoutland Fire Chief James Vaughn, “They left it because they said the wind was calm, and they decided to walk away for a second.”
Vaughn says a second is all it took for the wind to spread the fire over 15 acres. He says several buildings and some cars were in the fire’s path, but they managed to get it under control before any of them were damaged.
“My advice: If it’s nice and dry, and if it’s windy, don’t burn at all. Because it may be calm one minute, but as soon as you walk away, the wind can change off the bat and pick up and blow that fire other places where you didn’t want it to go,” said Vaughn.
While Laclede County firefighters battled the grass fire, Greene County firefighters were putting out a house fire south of Ash Grove.
Willard Fire Department Administrative Captain Jeremy Bumgarner said, “The building was under construction. So there’s plenty of open spaces. And there was high wind today, so it was a wind-fueled fire.”
Bumgarner says the fire started somewhere inside the brand new house. Firefighters won’t say how the fire started, or if it’s suspicious.
But Bumgarner says the wind helped the fire spread, so firefighters had to attack it defensively.
“Basically, fight it from the outside. We don’t make entry, because we deem it too dangerous,” he said.
Firefighters say it’s too early in their investigation to say where or how the house fire started.
No one was hurt in either of the fires.