Giving thanks on this Thanksgiving holiday will take on a different meaning for several residents and farmers in eastern Cooper County, following last month’s wildfire that destroyed part of Wooldridge and surrounding areas. Robert Alpers owns cropland near the town and reflects on that Saturday when extreme drought conditions and above-average temperatures provided key components for disaster.
Alpers had to find a detour around Wooldridge to reach his land, arriving with few seconds to spare.
Last month’s fire through Wooldridge damaged or destroyed more than 20 buildings and burned over 4,000 acres. It also impacted traffic on Interstate 70 after Mizzou’s homecoming game. Fortunately, no deaths were reported from the blaze.