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Multiple grass fires pop up around KC metro as dry, windy conditions continue

Some due to illegal burning
I49 near 140th grass fire oct 22.png
Posted at 9:31 PM, Oct 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-22 23:50:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since Friday afternoon, at least half a dozen grass fires have popped up in and around Kansas City.

The Fort Osage Fire Protection District battled an illegal burn Friday that turned into a multiple-acre grass fire on the border of Buckner and Sibley in Missouri.

Two firefighters were sent to the hospital after their brush truck caught fire, and one remains in serious condition as of Saturday.

In Douglas County, Kansas, investigators with the sheriff's office are asking for the public’s help after a string of grass fires in the last few weeks, the most recent Friday afternoon.

As a result of the similar timing and nature of the fires, they are considered suspicious.

Nino Bruno, a deputy chief with the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department, says crews have fought quite a few grass fires in the last few days.

Kansas City Scout cameras caught at least two fires near roadways on Saturday — one near Interstate 35 between North Choteau Trafficway and North Brighton Avenue and another at I-49/U.S. 71 Highway by 140th Street.

I-35 near brighton grass fire oct 22.png

Bruno advises the public to use common sense when burning, even with the city’s rules on burning.

“With the high winds that are coming tonight and tomorrow, we ask you to be very careful. If you wouldn’t burn, it would be very helpful to the fire department,” he said. “You’ve got the dryness of right now, any kind of spark of cigarette that’s thrown out a window creates a lot of grass and weeds that progress very, very quick.”

Many area fire departments issue no-burn days and burn bans based on what the Missouri Department of Natural Resources considers acceptable burning conditions:

  • Good air quality 
  • Winds less than 10 mph 
  • Approved burn permit from your city or county

However, rules and regulations for burning vary from city to city. Check with your local municipality before burning to ensure you are following the laws in your area.