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Rain’s impact on St. Louis area

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Monday's rain showers were warmly welcomed after months of drought conditions.

"The rain is definitely helpful," said West County EMS and Fire Deputy Chief Kelly Grassmuck.

Just a few days ago, the lack of rain and high winds combined to feed a five-alarm brush fire near De Soto. Before Monday's soaking, Missouri suffered extreme and severe drought conditions.

"Winter time can be as bad as the middle of summer when we get droughts," Grassmuck said.

Sixteen fire departments responded to the De Soto fire. When it was over, several sheds and a barn were destroyed, and a home was heavily damaged.

"Once things start greening up in the spring that fire hazard sort of dies just because things are starting to get green again," Deputy Fire Chief Grassmuck said.

At Emerald View Turf Farms in O'Fallon, Missouri the drought has cost them some green and it's been tough on their nerves.

"Less sleep, more nights up, wondering how are we going to conquer the lack of moisture," said co-ower Matt Keeven.

They spent thousands of dollars on watering. They had to irrigate months longer than a typical year because of the drought. The moisture is a start but not near enough yet.

"Subsoil down deep, we're still in great need," Keeven said.

The same holds true for brush fires a couple weeks of dry and windy in the future the fire danger could return.

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