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Crews respond to multiple fires this weekend in Phelps County, some believed to be intentionally set

Crews from the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District responded to a natural-cover fire in Newburg, Missouri.
Crews from the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District responded to a natural-cover fire in Newburg, Missouri.(Doolittle Fire Protection District)
Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 2:29 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2020 at 9:13 PM CDT
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NEWBURG, Mo. (KY3) - Fire crews in Phelps County have responded to multiple fires this weekend, some believed to be intentionally set.

Brandon Williams, a public information officer for the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District, tells KY3 that at least three fires in the Phelps County area have been intentionally set this weekend. The crew has investigated between 10-15 fires believed to be intentionally set since the start of summer.

Williams says authorities have “a suspect in mind.”

Phelps County and other communities around the Ozarks were under Red Flag Warning in recent days due to strong winds and low humidity, which are critical weather conditions for the spread of fires. Crews have advised people to not burn for any purpose during such warnings.

Saturday night, the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District and four other fire departments responded to 150-acre fire in south Rolla.

Fire officials tell KY3 that the fire in Rolla was set intentionally, and witnesses saw a man wandering around the fields before crews responded. One structure was in danger of burning, but crews were able to contain this fire and no one was hurt.

Sunday afternoon, crews from the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District responded to a natural-cover fire in Newburg, Missouri.

The fire happened near the intersection of West Fifth Street and Sycamore. Crews worked to contain two acres of woods on fire, but no structures were damaged.

In a Facebook comment, the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District says, “We believe this is another intentionally set fire.”

Additional details on the fires remain limited at this time. We will update as more information becomes available.

NOTE: Story corrected to reflect the number of fire that the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District responded to this weekend.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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