Firefighters and residents watchful over St. Joseph wildfires

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The small wildfires in St. Joseph, Mo. have been contained as of Monday morning.

The St. Joseph Fire Department said heavy smoke and a few burning embers were still in the area but nothing significant.

The fire started Sunday afternoon in Elwood, Kansas.

The fire department said 100 acres have been destroyed so far.

The Fire Department monitored hot spots Sunday and Monday, but said their biggest concern was for Monday afternoon as the temperatures rise and winds pick up.

some people had to evacuate for a short time on Elwood Street near downtown.

FOX 4’s Monica Evans was on Elwood Street Monday afternoon where people were evacuated on Sunday. No homes have burned, but the St. Joseph fire Battalion chief says he's leaving the hoses out in this neighborhood in case the fire starts again, which is something Jennie Cruz fears.

Cruz said she had brushfires on both sides of her house and one just six feet away from her garage.

“It freaked me out I was scared to death,” she said.

Cruz and several of her neighbors were evacuated Sunday when the fire got to close to their homes.

“I wasn't thinking very positive but with it being all around me I knew I was going to come back to nothing,” said Cruz.

Jill Shaw was also evacuated from her home and she says the smoke was so heavy in her neighborhood Sunday that it was difficult to breathe.

“I felt like I was living in a horror movie,” said Shaw. "The air was just filled with ashes and it was like a wildfire type of scenario it was frightening and there were several fires in the surrounding area."

Shaw says her adrenaline is still pumping.

“I am worried about the wind. It's warm the wind could pick up later you don't know what might happen we may have to be a evacuated again,” said Shaw.

The fire department is asking residents of St. Joseph to keep a watchful eye out for fires and to call 911 immediately if you see flames.

The St Joe Frontier Casino and roads surrounding it were closed Monday morning because of the fire. A small fort and acres of marshland near the St. Joseph Nature Center were also destroyed.

A Red Flag Warning was in effect Monday from noon until eight. The fire department urges residents not to burn or improperly dispose of cigarettes.

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