Small Missouri town ‘devastated’ by destructive wildfire

Oct 23, 2022, 11:31 AM | Updated: 4:15 pm

WOOLDRIDGE, Mo. (AP) — Roughly half of a small Missouri town burned Saturday after a wildfire spread quickly from a farm field and destroyed or heavily damaged 23 buildings, officials said.

No one died and only one person was taken to a hospital for an injury that was not life-threatening, but the entire town of Wooldridge had to be evacuated Saturday because of the fire. The blaze was sparked in a field by a combine that was harvesting crops. A nearby stretch of Interstate 70 had to be closed for nearly two hours Saturday evening because of heavy smoke.

Cooper County Fire District spokesman Jim Gann said Sunday that between 4.6 and 5.4 square miles burned before the fire was brought under control. Firefighters were working Sunday to keep hot spots under control with strong winds forecast in the afternoon.

Wooldridge is a town of less than 100 people about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Columbia along the Missouri River. Stephen Derendinger, an engineer with the Jamestown Rural Fire Protection District, said half the town is burnt.

“It’s devastated,” Derendinger said.

Firefighters saved the Wooldridge Baptist Church, Wooldridge Community Club and post office as they pumped water from swimming pools to help battle the blaze.

Elsewhere in Missouri Sunday, some Kansas City area residents were being urged to evacuate because of a grass fire near Interstate 470 and Raytown Road between Raytown and Lee’s Summit.

Kansas City Police spokeswoman Officer Donna Drake said police were called to the area around 11 a.m. Sunday and started knocking on doors to let residents know about the fire. Drake said the blaze started as a mulch fire at a business before spreading quickly toward a neighborhood.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol shut down Interstate 470 in the area Sunday afternoon for a couple hours because visibility was poor and fire had spread to both sides of the highway.

High winds and dry conditions helped the fire spread quickly. Kansas City Fire Chief Donna Lake said the fire began on the south side of I-470 before the wind carried embers from the initial fire over the highway and started a second fire in a wooded area north of the highway.

Lake said fire crews had to battle fires in two locations.

Drought conditions are common across Missouri and the National Weather Service warned about high winds in the northwest corner of the state Sunday, creating conditions ideal for wildfires to spread.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A woman walks with purchases past a store in Berlin, Germany, Friday, April 1, 2022. Europe ...
Associated Press

Europe scrapes out economic growth by dodging gas disaster

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s economy scraped out meager gains at the end of last year as galloping inflation fed by high energy prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deterred people from spending in shops and restaurants. Economic output crept 0.1% higher in the last three months of 2022, European Union statistics agency Eurostat reported […]
4 hours ago
Associated Press

Thousands of care sector workers protest in Brussels

BRUSSELS (AP) — More than 10,000 people protested through central Brussels on Tuesday to demand better working conditions and more pay in the care sector which have been especially hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade union activists and workers are demanding that more people be hired in hospitals and care homes for older people, and […]
4 hours ago
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)...
Associated Press

Biden to highlight grant for NYC rail tunnel under Hudson

WASHINGTON (AP) — New day, new tunnel. President Joe Biden is ready to showcase a $292 million mega grant that will be used to help build a new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, part of a broader effort to draw a contrast between his economic vision and that […]
4 hours ago
Associated Press

Nigeria’s push for redesigned currency creates cash shortage

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s push to replace its paper money with newly designed currency notes has created a shortage of cash, leaving people unable to buy what they need and forcing businesses to close across the West African nation, experts and business groups said. The Central Bank of Nigeria says the redesigned denominations of […]
4 hours ago
Associated Press

Strikes, protests hit France in round 2 of pension battle

PARIS (AP) — Demonstrations were getting underway across France on Tuesday in the latest clash of wills with the government over its plans to push back the retirement age. Labor leaders aimed to bring more than 1 million demonstrators into the streets in what one veteran left-wing leader described as a “citizens’ insurrection.” The nationwide […]
4 hours ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Global shares fall in muted trading ahead of Fed meeting

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares declined in muted trading on Tuesday as investors awaited decisions on interest rates and updates on corporate earnings reports from around the world. The Federal Reserve’s next decision on interest rates, expected Wednesday, will provide insight into whether the U.S. central bank will further ease its aggressive stance on fighting […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Small Missouri town ‘devastated’ by destructive wildfire