Brush fire safety

The dry conditions in the Heartland have posed a lot of challenges for people living and traveling through our area. Without a doubt one of the most dangerous conditions we face is fire. Fires can start very quickly, spread very quickly, and be extremely dangerous.

â??There are a lot of things people need to consider. Of course responsibility is a big issue during this time when you are talking about fire and fire issues. There are a lot of different ignition sources for fires, many that people donâ??t even realize. Pulling your vehicle simply into a grass area, farm pasture, things like that. Throwing a cigarette butt or cigar butt outside your window into a highway sideway can be very dangerous. It is illegal and considered littering. There can be other consequences if a fire would occur,â?? said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Brent Bernhardt.

Many areas across the Heartland continue to have burn bans including Macon County, Wapello County, and all of Missouri State Parks.

With brush fires are becoming more common across our area what should you do if you encounter a fire while driving? A situation more common out west and not one many across the Heartland have never had to deal with.

â??Any time that they are driving on a roadway and that smoke from a grass fire or brush fire is traveling across the roadway, it can decrease your visibility. We want you to drive safely, turn your headlights on. If it doesnâ??t look like you can make it through safely, donâ??t,â?? Bernhardt said.

Brush fires move fairly fast and a large one could engulf your car if the roadway travels through it. You should report a fire as soon as possible and never drive near the flames. If smoke is encountered treat it like like driving through a heavy fog or rain.