What’s on fire? Huge plume of smoke visible on radar, 30+ miles away

Joplin News First

JOPLIN, Mo. — It was the question of the day Wednesday on our tipline. What is that smoke?

  • “Looks like something big on fire to the northeast??? 4pm Wed.” A.C.
  • “Any news on what’s burning east of Sarcoxie?” J.B.
  • “What’s on fire Northeast of carthage?” J.G.

We think we have determined today was 2-3 different burns in different areas. 1) Stotts City 2) Pierce City 3) Golden City.

At least one fire put off a black plume of smoke. Which could have been debris, IE tires etc which are not supposed to be burned. Or there could have been a large amount of beech trees that were burning. Beech gives off a much darker smoke.


“Radar shows particles from a smoke plume about 30 miles to the west-northwest of the office,” stated National Weather Service Springfield about 3:30 PM. They are located adjacent to the Springfield-Branson National Airport.


The Missouri Department of Conservation have necessary information you need if planning a prescribed or controlled burn if it’s your first time or two around.

  • Get educated and call your local private land conservationist for a list of prescribed-burn workshops near you.
  • Don’t attempt a prescribed burn without training and help. Call your local private land conservationist to learn more.
  • Always notify your neighbors and local fire department before conducting a prescribed burn. Otherwise you’ll have reports of your fire all day long and departments showing up to put it out!

George Washington National Monument utilize controlled burns. “140 of the 240 acres of the former Moses Carver farm has been returned to prairie. One way to help renew the prairie area is fire. As years go by, the old dead leaf litter creates a thick covering on the ground. New shoots find it harder to get sunlight, while the ground stays insulated causing a delay in the spring plant growth.”

To learn more about how the National Park Service manages fires they suggest this link.

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