Fire burns 3,000 acres in Harvey County, Kansas

An S-2 air tanker was filmed dropping on the fire

Updated November 15, 2020   |    10:14 a.m. CT

Firefighters have stopped the spread of the fire near North Burmac Road east of Hutchinson, Kansas.

From KWCH:

(UPDATE: 4:40 a.m., Sunday) Crews on the scene of a wildfire in Harvey County now say the fire is contained. The fire chief on the scene tells us that fire has burned around 6,000-7,000 acres of land. Thankfully, aside from minor damage to an outbuilding – there hasn’t been any structure damage. Also, there are no reports of any injuries.

November 15, 2020   |    12:20 a.m. CT

map wildfire Harvey County Kansas air tanker
Map showing the location of a wildfire at 12:36 p.m. CT Nov. 14, 2020 soon after it started in northwest Harvey County, Kansas.

More than a dozen fire departments are fighting a wildfire in Kansas 10 miles east of Hutchinson. At 12:36 p.m. Saturday a satellite detected heat west of North Burmac Road south of the Little Arkansas River. Strong winds caused the fire to spread rapidly, crossing North Burmac Road.

KSCW TV reported at 9 p.m. that it had burned 3,000 acres in grass, cottonwood trees, and cedar trees.

The weather forecast calls for the strong winds to continue Saturday night out of the northwest at 14 to 21 mph gusting at 25 to 30 mph. On Sunday the wind will still be out of the northwest at 11 to 18 mph with gusts up to 28 mph, with relative humidity in the 20s.

A privately-owned air tanker, an S-2, was filmed dropping on the fire as the sun set Saturday evening. The aircraft is owned by Ag Air Service out of Nickerson, Kansas.

wildfire Harvey County Kansas air tanker
Air Tanker 95 drops on a wildfire in northwest Harvey County, Kansas. KSCW.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Matt.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Fire burns 3,000 acres in Harvey County, Kansas”

  1. Who says you can’t make drops at night? Although one S 2 dropping on a 3000 acre grass fire may seem futile, how many times, if you have been in this profession (wildfires) you said to yourself, “if I could get a drop in here we could have saved a structure, protected a crew or saved a piece of equipment”. In a fast moving grass fire that is probably the roll of a single airtanker, look ahead a mile, what is the fire going to overrun and destroy.


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