“This is devastating:” Community members react to wildfire in Wooldridge, Mo

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Community members are now picking up the pieces after a natural cover fire swept through the town of Wooldridge in Cooper County Saturday evening. It is a town of fewer than 100 people.

”The town has changed a lot over the years. When I was a kid, it was a beautiful town with a lot of people, but the flood of ‘93 really caused it to change direction,” said Alexis Nixon, who has grown up in Wooldridge her whole life.

A natural cover fire spreads quickly because of high winds. A statewide request went out for departments to respond. More than 30 agencies ended up helping out. About 4,000 acres got scorched, and more than 20 structures burned down. The town’s church sustained some damage as well.

“This is the church I grew up in. My father was a Deacon here. My mother was the pianist. My family was involved in it. I was married here,” said Nixon.

Emmanuel Maccome lost his home in the fire. He had recently moved to the town.

”We bought it in 2019, trying to live a dream we thought was available, but it wasn’t,” said Maccome.

He lost his dog in the fire.

“His name was Olaf,” said Maccome.

The town is left with a common thought.

”This is devastating,” said Maccome.

The smoke from the fire closed I-70 for about two hours on Saturday. Smoke could still be seen from the area Monday.

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