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State fire marshal, citing drought, urges no outdoor burning

October 13, 2020 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s state fire marshal on Tuesday encouraged people to avoid outside burning amid a statewide drought that has gripped the state for several weeks.

Fire Marshal Tim Bean said in a news release that under the current dry conditions, even a small outdoor fire can get out of control and spread rapidly.

Bean cited the lack of significant rainfall but also low humidity, gusty winds and warm temperatures.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that several Missouri counties are experiencing drought conditions, including five with extreme droughts: Barry, Christian, Greene, Lawrence and Stone counties.

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Several wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in western states.