Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Grass fires have ignited across Kansas. Here's where

Fire crews working Monday in Clark County Fire crews working Monday in Clark County
Melinda Barton | 08 March, 2018, 14:31

Kansas authorities said 50 fires have burned about 40 square miles (103.6 square kilometers).

Wildfires burned thousands of acres across several Kansas counties Tuesday. "But already in the last few days we've had over fifty fires across the state of Kansas", said Gov. Colyer.

"Things are looking pretty good", said Katie Horner, spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General's Office. Before the bale fire was contained, crews were on standby with planes equipped with large buckets capable of dumping water.

"Do not drive on or stop your auto on dry or tall grass because your exhaust can spark a fire", the Adjutant General's Office said.

Two Black Hawk helicopters were flown into Wabaunsee Co.

Stay away from all affected areas and do not drive through heavy smoke.

"Sightseeing puts you in danger and hampers the work of firefighting crews", they said.

Governor Jeff Colyer has declared a state of disaster emergency that includes Barber, Clark, Ellis, Greenwood, Harper, Kingman, Logan, Reno, Smith and Stevens counties.

Most of the fires have been contained or extinguished, though strong winds complicated the firefight Tuesday with gusts in western Kansas topping 70 miles per hour.

Dozens of wind-blown wildfires in Kansas have closed highways and prompted evacuations. Fire crews on scene were trying to stop the fire from spreading into parts of east Hays.

In Nebraska, a burned man was found crawling in a McCook farm field Tuesday afternoon as 50 miles per hour wind gusts whipped flames down a ravine toward the Red Willow County community of 7,500 people.

Officials say two Kansas Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters and eight soldiers from Topeka are headed for Greenwood County to help fire crews. The only areas where red flag fire warnings haven't been issued are in northeast and far north-central Kansas.