Fires claim local homes, blaze across high plains

By Elly Grimm
Southwest Daily Times – March 7, 2017

Photo by Robert Pierce

Wildfires and grassfires were the top story of the day Monday as several cropped up around Kansas and the surrounding areas, and a few were still continuing to burn in some areas of the state this morning.

“There were multiple wildfires across Oklahoma and Kansas primarily due to the low humidity and high winds,” Emergency Management Director Greg Standard said. “The last I knew, around midnight last night, Ashland was still surrounded by fires, there was a fire still going in Spearville, and the north part of Hutchinson was still burning too. The other fires in the other counties had been taken care of to my knowledge.”

With the fire that occurred at County Road L and Road 12 in Seward County, which was called in early Monday afternoon, Standard said crews were on hand battling that blaze for several hours trying to get everything under control. That blaze was considered fully extinguished around 9 p.m., according to Standard.

“Probably eight or 10 properties were affected by that, and I’m afraid we lost about five,” Standard said. “But we’re going to check some maps and see which buildings were occupied and which ones weren’t so we can get more complete information, which will be available later today.”

And with high winds still in the forecast, Standard said it is important for everyone to remain safe.

“We’re in a weather pattern where due to how dry the area is, it’s going to be significant,” Standard said. “Fires are going to start and spread quickly regardless of how much wind there is. So if you’re working somewhere like that, make sure there’s a fire extinguisher handy and use extreme caution. If you’re using tools that can create sparks or things like that, that’s going to be a problem until we get some significant rain.”

Standard said crews will be remaining on alert today, and there will also be crews working on making sure situations do not arise like with Monday.

“We had a tremendous outpouring of farmers with their discs who came out and helped work on that, along with individuals with other equipment like graders and that type of thing,” Standard said. “I’m not sure how many people total we had out there from the community, but it was a large number, and they did an amazing job helping out there.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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