Firefighters share the impact of recent rain in southwest Missouri

Rain in southwest Missouri: how has the drought been effected?
Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The long stretch of high heat and low rain led to a drought and burn bans in the Ozarks.

Firefighters have felt the brunt of it, battling grassfires all over southwest Missouri. Recent rainfall has helped the situation.

“For some locations across southwest Missouri, the recent rains that we’ve had will be beneficial. However, not everybody in southwest Missouri has been lucky enough to see rainfall at this point,” said Gene Hatch from the National Weather Service. ”So while some areas have gotten some rain, it hasn’t necessarily fallen over the areas of greatest impact.”

Hatch explained that because conditions have been so dry for months, the soil has hardened, making it act like pavement or asphalt. He says we need long, soaking rains to allow the moisture to soak into the ground for the rain to have a lasting impact.

Chief Richard Stirts from the Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District says while conditions are improving, there are risks. A large amount of dead vegetation can spread and cause fires. He says we are in a better place than we were just a week ago. Regardless of the rain, he added, it’s always a smart idea to check with your local fire station for when the burn bans are lifted.

Experts from the National Weather Service say while some of southwest Missouri is improving, it’s important to remember that August is one of the drier months of the year. Some areas of far southwest Missouri could get even worse.

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