ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Firefighters from more than a dozen agencies responded to west St. Louis County to combat a series of brush fires along Highway 141 near Interstate 44.
It was 7:35 a.m. Monday when units from Eureka and Valley Park fire protection districts were dispatched east of Antire Road and I-44 near 141.
The cause of the fire remains unknown. But the size of it, and the severity of high winds, added to a scary moment.
When crews arrived, there was heavy smoke across the highway, which caused an accident due to poor visibility.
The fire exceeded 50 acres at some point.
Fire officials point to no significant rainfall in the area since Sept. 15, brush is dry, calling it a manpower intensive fire, not a structure fire.
Crews had to cut a significant line around the fire to contain and put out.
“We had 150 firefighters from across the metropolitan area here on scene,” Assistant Chief Scott Barthelmass, Eureka Fire Protection District, said. “It was a very labor-intensive process. It’s not like your typical structure fire where you pull up and pull hoses. This was cutting a fire line with rakes and shovels and blowers. This was using all-terrain vehicles or UTVs to get up and put out hot spots. A lot of work by a lot of great firefighters in the St. Louis area to put the fire out.”
No serious injuries were reported.
Officials are reminding people because of drought-like conditions to refrain from starting outdoor fires. Rainfall is on the way Tuesday and it is much-needed for many parts of the area that are at risk for brush fires starting.