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18-020 Update to Kansas fires

March 7, 2018 | By slarson

Fires continue to burn in Kansas. Most are in some level of containment. Greenwood County is currently fighting a wildfire near the town of Hamilton. The Kansas Army National Guard is providing aerial firefighting support for local firefighters. Approximately 50 fires were reported to the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka since Monday, burning more than 25,000 acres. Aerial and ground firefighting resources were coordinated by the SEOC through the Kansas Forest Service and Kansas Army National Guard to augment fire suppression efforts by local responders. Soldiers of the Kansas National Guards 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, along with troopers from the Kansas Highway Patrol and personnel from the Kansas Forest Service provided aerial and ground support to local crews battling fires in Ellis and other counties yesterday and the Greenwood County fire today. The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is providing support and coordination of state and federal resources as requested by the counties. County emergency managers may continue to report incidents and request state assistance to augment local response and recovery actions through the state's 24-hour emergency notification line. Weather conditions are improving with increased relative humidity and decreasing wind. However, grass remains very dry and people should remain vigilant about preventing fires. Avoid any activity that could create a spark and touch off 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. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., declared a state of disaster emergency that includes Barber, Clark, Ellis, Greenwood, Harper, Kingman, Logan, Reno, Smith, and Stevens counties.