Wildfires that began burning in several different locations northwest of Ozark Friday are under investigation, according to Sheriff Anthony Boen.
The first fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. Firefighters have had to work at least six fires in the last few hours. Sheriff Boen says the fires affect about 100 acres.
Residents in the area have been notified of the fires.
“It looks scary. You know when a fire’s coming toward your house it's scary,” said Johnny Sampley, a resident.
Sampley and his neighbors got out dozers in an effort to stop the fire from spreading to their homes. “We got a lot at stake here. Gone try to save it,” said Shawn King, a resident.
At least one home on White Valley Road had to be evacuated as a safety precaution, Sheriff Boen said.
Franklin County Emergency Management Director Fred Mullen said the fire came dangerously close to about 15 homes. “We declared a state of emergency about an hour or so into this fire and we requested federal resources,” said Mullen.
The sheriff’s department says at one point they had at least six fires burning, four of them in the same general area. “Started earlier down the road, then another one started, then another one started,” said Sampley.
Crews shut down county roads while firefighters worked to get the flames out. The sheriff’s department says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. “Watch and wait, that's all we can do,” said Sampley.