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Monday morning brush fire backs up traffic for miles on I-44

Dry and windy conditions accelerated the 50-acre brush fire.

EUREKA, Mo. — Fire crews thought they were responding to a small brush fire along I-44 Monday morning, but when they arrived at the eastbound lanes across from Lone Elk Park, they found a much larger area in flames. 

Metro West Fire Protection District Division Chief Mike Thiemann was on the scene and told 5 On Your Side the weather did not help.

"With the wind conditions and the dry temperatures, we've had low humidity, these conditions are just ripe for this," he said.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Britt said wildfires are not uncommon in Missouri and the season is just right for them. 

"Our fire season occurs mainly in the fall and then in the early spring," he said.

The Interstate 44 fire has not been the only one. 

"Because of just how dry the conditions have been across the area we have seen some fires in the local area," Britt said.

Monday's brush fire took firefighters from St. Louis, Jefferson and Franklin Counties to tame the blaze.

Division Chief Thiemann estimates at its peak, the fire spanned over 50 acres. 

"It's just a difficult area, heavily wooded," he said.

No homes or structures were threatened or damaged during the fire.

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