‘Catastrophic fire conditions’ possible today as Kansas blazes continue

Fires raced through grasslands in Kansas this week, drawing the National Guard, which captured this photo.

A series of wildfires have burned thousands of acres of grasslands in Kansas this week, and while relief might be in sight, there’s still a full day of volatile conditions ahead, officials say.

“Friday will be a very dangerous day for fire weather in many areas of the state. Some areas will see catastrophic fire weather conditions,” the Kansas Division of Emergency Management said.

Most of the state is under red flag or high wind warnings with forecast to gusts up to 40 mph in some areas Friday. Temperatures around 70 degrees are expected to drop into the 50s this weekend, with rain in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

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.

According to The Wichita Eagle, state officials tracked 45 fires across the state on Thursday alone, with several breaking out in the Kansas City area. The fires burned an estimated 13,000 acres, and many remained active or out of control.

More detailed assessments of acreage or causes were not immediately available.

About 20 percent of the state is classified as being under an “extreme drought,” according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Author: Jason Pohl

In addition to writing for Wildfire Today, Jason Pohl reports on public safety-related issues for The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY.

6 thoughts on “‘Catastrophic fire conditions’ possible today as Kansas blazes continue”

  1. They are saying the fire ran 3 miles in twenty minutes.

    Bunch of vehicles trapped on the KTA with the head fire headed at them.

  2. They used all the Kansas Blackhawks yesterday and used 2 from Nebraska as well. They also have ordered more aviation resources. Some pretty wicked videos people on the turnpike shot on KWCH.

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