Dry, windy conditions fuel wildfires across Kansas

Elias Hubbard
March 17, 2018

Fires erupted Wednesday. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer made an emergency declaration for three of the fires burning in Rice County and deployed Black Hawk helicopters from the Kansas National Guard to assist in the response. For that day alone, the department tracked 45 fires that burned an estimated 13,000 acres.

Authorities warn that dry, windy conditions could pose an even greater threat Friday. Officials asked people at nearby Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High School to shelter in place at one point, but an evacuation order was not necessary.

Fire danger remains high today, with red flag and high wind warnings issued for much of western, central and southern Kansas.

Wildfires burned thousands of acres Thursday in Kansas and authorities are warned that "extreme, catastrophic" fire conditions could prove disastrous for the region on Friday.

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said despite damage to the homes and vehicles, there were no injuries reported.

On Thursday afternoon, firefighters and fire engines from Alabama, Kentucky and Louisiana arrived in the Sooner State.

Most of the state is under red flag or high wind warnings with forecast to gusts up to 40 miles per hour in some areas Friday. "Strong winds blowing over dried-out grasses and brush is a unsafe scenario for any small fire to be whipped into a fast-moving inferno within minutes".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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