DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - Highway 25 and Highway 60 are back open after firefighters worked to get a large field fire under control.
Both lanes of Highway 25 south of Dexter to Bernie were shut down. One eastbound lane of Highway 60 in the area was also closed.
It started on County Road 607 south of Dexter. The fire ran from about a mile north of Hwy. 60, then 11 miles south to Bernie along the railroad bed. The fire is either out or under control.
The fire is northeast of Dexter along the Burlington – Northern tracks.
The road was closed because of the smoke and poor visibility, according to Missouri Patrol Trooper Clark Parrott.
Parrott says there were a couple of power poles on fire and several structures were in danger.
The Dexter fire chief says the cause of the fire is undetermined. However, troopers believe sparks from a train may have started the fire. Union Pacific was not grinding the tracks at the time.
Mark Davis with Union Pacific says they did an initial investigation on the two trains in the area at the time of the fire, and then let them go. He says the investigation will continue to see if any other problems, but they did not find any problems Tuesday.
He said 18 trains were held up yesterday as a result of the fire, and closed area.
He said at 5:45 one line was open, and the other opened at 7pm.
One firefighter from Bloomfield was treated and released with minor burns.
"Pretty good fire, it's dry out there, you get something to spark on something, it's going to burn," said Norman Swafford.
Swafford took a bird's eye view of the flames from his airplane.
"Pretty good size fire," said Swafford.
"We saw a lot of smoke, it looked like there were fires on the side of the road, by the railroad tracks," said Angela Payne.
Payne was just one of the drivers battling the conditions until authorities shut down Highway 25 and part of Highway 60.
"It was covered in smoke, that would have been the worst thing about it was the highway, the visibility being bad, that can cause some serious trouble," said Swafford.
"The fire was coming up to the side of the road so we could actually feel the heat on the side of the door is how hot it was," said Payne.
"Well if it was time to get off work it would probably affect them a lot, but that time of day, it probably didn't have that much of an effect," said Swafford.
Homeowners in the area say they fought to keep the flames away from their property by using garden hoses and buckets of water.
"We ran, we started filling up all the pans and buckets we had in the house, and we'd put one under, bring one out, so that the next bucket would be full and we just kept going," said Holly Mathews, one of the people in the neighborhood scared for her home.
But Mathews said she wasn't just upset about the fire.
"When we come home, the whole backyard was on fire, we come out here, and the officers were sitting up on the highway, like the highway was going to catch fire, and taking pictures of everyone in the neighborhood out here with buckets of water trying to put it out, we brought clothes out here trying to pat it out, trying to step it out, and all she could do was take pictures," said Mathews.
Fire crews continue to monitor hot spots to make sure the threat doesn't flare up again.
"I was scared I was going to lose everything," said Mathews.