Fires in Carter, Reynolds, Wayne counties under control - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fires in Carter, Reynolds, Wayne counties under control

Burnt out tractor from Carter County fire on 304 between D and 21. Burnt out tractor from Carter County fire on 304 between D and 21.
Carter County fire near Reynolds County line on 304 between D and 21. (Source: cNews Brian Keathly) Carter County fire near Reynolds County line on 304 between D and 21. (Source: cNews Brian Keathly)
Carter County fire near Reynolds County line on 304 between D and 21. (Source: cNews Brian Keathly) Carter County fire near Reynolds County line on 304 between D and 21. (Source: cNews Brian Keathly)
Shannon Loftis snapped this photo of a huge field fire in Reynolds County, just off Route 21. (Source: cNews Shannon Loftis) Shannon Loftis snapped this photo of a huge field fire in Reynolds County, just off Route 21. (Source: cNews Shannon Loftis)
This was the view Wednesday looking toward the Lick Branch/Bluff view area north of the Clearwater Dam. (Source: cNews) This was the view Wednesday looking toward the Lick Branch/Bluff view area north of the Clearwater Dam. (Source: cNews)

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A large wildfire north of Van Buren is now under control and crews are no longer on the scene.

The fire was still going strong as of 2 a.m. Thursday.

According to the sheriff's department, the fire is located around County Road 304 between Route 21 and Highway D.

Fire crews have been on the scene of this fire throughout the night trying to bring it under control.

In a picture sent in to cNews the photographer describes the scene as, "Residents with the Van Buren volunteer fire department (are) standing at the ready."

According to the Carter County Sheriff, 250 acres burned in six different fires.  The sheriff says no structures damages or burned.

Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Volner says they estimate more than 1,000 acres burned in the fires Wednesday. He says there were five fires going on simultaneously across his county. A lot of the land that burned is conservation land, so official numbers have not been released.  Sheriff Volner says six homes in his county were destroyed and three horses died.  They do not know what sparked the fires.

Piedmont Police Chief Richard Sanders says everything is almost back to normal Thursday.  He says the large brush fire was caused by someone burning trash.  Police evacuated about five homes Wednesday.  One home was charred a bit on the outside along the Greenhill area in Piedmont.

Sanders says the biggest issue for resident Thursday is cleaning ash of their vehicles and homes and smoke out of their homes.

Route 21 was closed from 34 to D because the smoke was so thick, but as of 3:50 Thursday morning all Carter County roads were open.

The fires in this area caused people to evacuate their homes after the fire destroyed three houses.  The fire also killed some livestock and horses.

By 4 a.m. Thursday, the Reynolds County sheriff's department says all roads in their county are open and all volunteer fire departments are back at their bases.

On Wednesday it wasn't difficult to find a Heartland firefighter who was hard at work.

Field and grass fires from nearly every corner of the region kept firefighters and emergency crews busy most of the day and well into the night.  Many of the fires spread because of dry, windy conditions.

In southeast Missouri, fires caused the evacuations of several homes in Carter and Reynolds Counties.  Firefighters in Reynolds County said much of the fires were 75 percent contained late Wednesday, but a portion of Route 21 would remain closed due to thick smoke.

A Doniphan police dispatcher said homes had been evacuated due to a field fire in west Ripley County, and crews had been busy fighting fires in other parts of the county as well.

Firefighters in Wayne County tackled an approximately two-mile long stretch of brush fire that reportedly started at a home then quickly spread, and callers to the KFVS newsroom reported that the town of Piedmont was full of smoke.  Another separate fire in Piedmont destroyed a home, but no one was hurt.

High winds reportedly caused a controlled burn to spin out of control in Fruitland, burning about 20 acres, and the wind certainly didn't help when some wood chips caught fire in a silo near Flickerwood Arena.

"Basically a fire got started, the wind fed it, and to the best of my knowledge, once it got started, there was just a lot of buildup that went on," said Flickerwood employee Gary Ludwig.

In Southern Illinois, KFVS received several unconfirmed reports of a large field fire near Thebes late Wednesday, and three departments responded to field fire just off Route 3 near Gorham.  A homeowner in Williamson County ended up destroying his barn and part of his house when he walked away after thinking he'd put out a fire, but the blaze reignited and ended up scorching more than an acre of ground.

Despite the windy conditions that tend to pose a high fire danger, only two districts had issued no-burn orders as of late Wednesday night.  Those were the McClure-East Cape Girardeau and Horseshoe Lake fire districts, both in Alexander County. 

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