KDEM News

18-033 State Emergency Operations Center remains staffed through the weekend

Since the beginning of the current wildland fire incident that began March 14, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has tracked over 100 wildland fires in the state. The fires have burned an estimated 16,800 acres, most of it in the South Central region. Currently there is one fire that is active/uncontrolled and five controlled fires. Two fires are in …

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18-032 Black Hawk helicopters return to the air to battle wildland fire

Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 16 Kansas National Guardsmen are en route to assist with aerial fire suppression for wildfires located in Kiowa County and Rice County. Each helicopter is equipped with a Bambi Bucket that can disperse 660 gallons of water over the fire. A High Wind Warning remains in effect across western Kansas. A Red Flag Warning …

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18-031 State monitors weather as wildland fires continue to crop up

Fire danger remains high today with red flag warnings for much of Kansas due to high winds and dry weather conditions. “Strong winds continue to make for a red flag warning today across much of the state generally south of I-70,” said Kris Craven, meteorologist with the Topeka National Weather Service. “There will be a short break from the high …

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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 …

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18-030 Wildland fire update

Three Kansas Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation have deployed to assist with two active fires north of the Northern Natural Gas Plant in Kiowa County.  One trooper from the Kansas Highway Patrol has also been deployed to assist with traffic.  There are an additional five helicopters on standby to assist with the …

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18-027 State continues response to wildland fires in central Kansas

  The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is deploying a Communication On Wheels unit to rural Rice County to facilitate communication between first responders fighting the wildland fires in Rice, Reno and McPherson counties. The FAA has restricted the airspace to an altitude of 3,000 feet over a three-mile radius around the Rice County fires. Additional Emergency Support Function partners …

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18-026 Governor issues disaster declaration for wildland fire

Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., has issued a disaster declaration for wildland fires currently burning in Rice County. County officials say they have exhausted all mutual aid resources and requested assistance from the Kansas National Guard with fire suppression efforts. “The people of Rice County need our help,” said Colyer, “and, like good Kansas neighbors, we will give them whatever assistance …

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18-022 SEOC returns to normal operations following wildfire response

Since March 4, emergency responders in multiple Kansas counties battled more than 50 wildfires that burned more than 27,000 acres. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., issued a State of Disaster Emergency proclamation for Barber, Clark, Ellis, Greenwood, Harper, Kingman, Logan, Reno, Smith, Stevens and Wabaunsee Counties. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka on …

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18-021 KSARNG Black Hawks receive additional firefighting missions

As wildfires continue to crop up across the state, two Kansas Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which had been at work in Greenwood County, have been pulled back to Salina to prepare for a possible deployment to Hamilton County on the Colorado border. Two additional Black Hawks are currently in Wabaunsee County to assist firefighting operations near I-70 …

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18-020 Update to Kansas fires

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 …

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