Charges Possible in Wildfire

Authorities in southwestern Missouri say criminal charges are possible against a person whose trash fire grew into a massive wildfire.

The late July blaze near Walnut Grove destroyed barns and hay bales while scorching about 300 acres in northern Greene County. No homes were destroyed, but 15 fire departments and the Missouri Department of Conservation needed two days to extinguish the flames. Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said Monday a resident had been burning trash in a cinderblock fire pit and checked to make sure the fire was out. But high winds picked up and carried burning embers into a nearby field. Arnott says his office plans to submit its findings to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office for review of any potential criminal charges.