Fire Spreads in Elwood

Published 03/18 2014 04:50PM

Updated 03/18 2014 09:53PM

(ELWOOD, Mo.) "I could see them across the bridge so they were very big," said Jessica Smith.

Smith describes what she saw Monday afternoon on her drive home.

"You could tell something was on fire but we didn't really know what it was," added Smith.

A day later, 300 acres of land continued to burn in Elwood.

Firefighters say it started Monday afternoon after 4 then spread to other areas.

"Further on the outside then it spread to the inside," said the fire chief of Elwood.

A controlled fire was scheduled for the conservation area but was canceled due to red flag warnings.

Firefighters say they have no idea how it started.

"We've had mushroom hunters here. People that mushroom hunt come down and set it on fire usually by boat but with the river so low, they may have drove in here and set it we don't know," added the fire chief.

Firefighters say that the trees burning were all destroyed during the 2011 flood.

They say due to strong winds, the fire continues to spread and so far it's spread at least 4 miles.

"All these trees are dead, it makes good fuel for a fire," added the chief.

Crews will continue to monitor the flames but say they have no plan to put them out since no one is in danger and no structures are close by.

Battling the fire also puts firefighters at risk since the trees continue to fall.

"Too dangerous to put personnel in there when it's going to burn towards the river and get to the river and it'll stop there," said the fire chief.

Firefighters will put out flames if they get too close to the highway.

"As long as they keep it contained and they watch what they're doing and make sure other stuff doesn't catch on fire with the wind going then I guess it's okay," said Smith.

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