- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

BLACK, Mo. (AP) - Weekend rainfall has helped firefighters make progress battling a blaze in the Mark Twain National Forest.

The fire was estimated at 70 percent contained, Bill Paxton, with the Mark Twain National Forest, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1Irykfr ) Saturday. He said no one had been injured and that the fire had not spread beyond the 1,300 acres that were burning on Friday.

Paxton didn’t immediately return a phone call Sunday from The Associated Press.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. It is centered about two miles southwest of Black on public and private land, most of it on National Forest land.

Paxton said fighting the wildfire is difficult because of “the 2009 Derecho wind event,” an enormous storm cell with hurricane-force winds that moved from Kansas to southwestern Virginia. It knocked down many acres of trees. All of that downed timber makes it hard to fight wildfires by traditional methods, such as using bulldozers to build fire lines.

Friday was the sixth anniversary of the Derecho wind event moving through Missouri.

The biggest wildfire on record for the Mark Twain National Forest covered nearly 5,000 acres.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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