Official says fire burned between 30,000 and 32,000 acres

CNJ staff

Melrose Fire Chief Kenny Jacobs said Saturday’s fire near McAlister, nicknamed the Windy Fire, burned between 30,000 and 32,000 acres.

Initial estimates put that number around 25,000 acres.

Jacobs said two fires started around the same time Saturday, both beginning near highways. Jacobs said a cause for the fires is unknown.

He said the first fire was small and burned about 250 acres. After Melrose and Field volunteer fire departments knocked down that fire, they were called to the bigger fire that started near U.S. Highway 312.

Jacobs said the area was dry enough that the fire also burned where residents had kept their grass short and burned off.