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18-049 Wildland fires in Western Kansas contained; high fire danger likely for Wednesday

April 18, 2018 | By slarson
A large wildland fire that originated in Colorado and crossed into Kansas late Tuesday evening, affecting Stanton and Morton Counties, was contained overnight. Multiple structures were impacted by the fire and damage assessment by local authorities will be done today in those counties. Wallace County also reported a large fire that started last night and has been contained. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Nebraska National Guard have been requested via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and will arrive in Kansas on Wednesday and remain on standby to assist with aerial fire suppression, due to the expectation of a high fire danger on Wednesday. A shelter that was established for residents displaced by the fire in Morton County has closed. The State Emergency Operations Center will remain activated to monitor very high fire weather conditions anticipated across the state on Wednesday due to gusty northwest winds and relative humidity as low as 20 %. Strong northwest winds of 28 31 mph, gusting to 29 mph are expected. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., issued a disaster declaration on Tuesday for western Kansas counties battling wildland fires. KDEM officials are reminding Kansans to avoid any activity that could create a spark and start a new fire. Because open fires can quickly get out of control, even for experienced fire fighters, people should avoid open burning. Check with the local authorities in each county for information regarding county burn bans. Do not drive on or stop your car on dry or tallgrass because your exhaust can spark a fire; do not throw cigarettes on the ground. Check and re-check any recent fires for rekindling. For more information regarding the weather and a map of the red flag warning, go to