Fire burns 1,000 acres in Washington County

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Several miles south of I-44 near Bourbon, fire crews Monday responded to a brush fire that soon spread to as many as 1,000 acres in Washington County.

Mike Thiemann is public information officer for Metro West Fire Protection District, but on this scene he served in a mutual aid capacity.  Thiemann said by 6:30 p.m. the fire had been contained.

“Contained means we have a perimeter around the fire,” said Thiemann.  “There is active fire at this point, but we have it burning within an area, so we know we have it in check.  It's not going to jump any lines at this point.

Thiemann said investigators have nothing yet on a cause.  He said it may have started as a result of a controlled burn.

“Even though you think you may have it out at this point, an ember can get off into the woods and start something like this,” he said.

Thiemann said as many as 150 firefighters from several area departments helped in the effort, mostly divided up in what are known as strike teams.

“A strike team is a way we organize engines, or brush trucks,” said Thiemann.  “Whatever resource we would need.  And it's five similar resources.  So in this case it would be five brush trucks and one chief officer, also five engines and one chief officer.  So we know we can control that group, we can use them effectively to mobilize to certain areas to be a direct impact.

Thiemann said no one was injured in this fire.  While two structures were threatened, firefighters were able to protect them.  By early Monday evening, local fire officials had begun releasing neighboring departments from mutual aid.