18-029 Fire danger remains high in Kansas as state continues response efforts

Fire danger remains high with red flag warnings across much of Kansas due to high winds and dry weather conditions.

Currently, the Rice County Fire Complex is the largest active fire. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews from the Kansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation out of Salina and Topeka have been tasked to assist first responders on the ground with fire suppression efforts. Two of the Black Hawks deployed to assist with the Rice County Fire Complex operations. Five additional Black Hawks are on standby to assist with firefighting operations, as needed.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka remains staffed at a partial activation level to coordinate state firefighting resources.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management officials are reminding Kansans to avoid any activity that could create a spark and start a new fire. Do not drive on or stop your car on dry or tall grass because your exhaust can spark a fire; do not throw cigarettes on the ground.

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.