Mark Twain Forest, partners, contain Potato Cave Fire near Dora
ROLLA, MO. — Mark Twain National Forest firefighters and partners have contained the 1,126 acre Potato Cave fire in Ozark County, about 9 miles southeast of Dora, Missouri.
Rain fell on the fire over the weekend. Firefighters will continue to patrol fire lines until they are sure there is no heat left within the fire perimeter.
Over the past week, Mark Twain National Forest firefighters, as well as other state and federal agencies from the Midwest and Dora and Bakersfield, Missouri Rural Fire Departments worked long hours under brutal weather conditions to hold the fire within an established perimeter.
Several partners assisted Mark Twain National Forest to contain the 1,126-acre Potato Cave fire near Dora, Missouri in Ozark County. Containment lines around the lightning-ignited wildfire stopped the spread of the wildfire. Firefighters will be patrolling the area to make sure no heat remains within containment lines. (USDA Forest Service photo)
Because of the steep terrain and heavy fuels created by a 2010 tornado, firefighters used several engines, two bulldozers, a helicopter, and two water tenders to finally put the fire out.
“Putting this fire out required the combined efforts of a lot of people – and not just firefighters,” said Mark Twain National Forest Fire Management Officer Jody Eberly. “The people of Ozark County and the Dora area worked with the Forest Service as a team.”
Roy’s Store made dinners for firefighters who spent several nights on the fire line; one private landowner allowed the Forest Service to use his property for a helicopter base, and others allowed firefighters to create fire lines on their property.
“Without this kind of cooperation, it would have been much more dangerous and difficult to get this fire contained,” Eberly said.
Ozark County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted with traffic control and road closures to keep firefighters and the public safe during suppression activities along county roads.
“Fortunately, this wildfire was contained with no injuries to firefighters or the public,” Eberly said.
Although the fire came within ¼ mile of the North Fork River, floating the river was not significantly affected by the wildfire.
Summer 2012 is setting a record pace for Missouri wildfires with a forecast for continued record high temperatures and dry conditions.
“The last time conditions were like this in Missouri was in 1980, and before that in the early 1950s,” Eberly said. “It doesn’t take much to get a fire going in these extreme weather conditions. Please be careful with your cigarettes, fireworks, tools and any other device that might spark a fire.”
USDA’s Mark Twain National Forest is the largest public land manager in Missouri with 1.5 million acres in 29 southern and central Missouri counties. The National Forest’s goal is to continue to restore Missouri’s natural communities and maintaining a healthy, working forest.