A wildfire northwest of Topeka prompts evacuations at Delia

map fire kansas St Marys Rossville
Map showing heat detected by satellites at the wildfire east of St Marys, Kansas at 1:54 p.m. CT, Nov. 18, 2020.

Firefighters in Kansas are battling a large wildfire that started about 17 miles northwest of Topeka, southeast of St Marys near highway 24. Strong winds out of the south-southwest have pushed the fire toward Delia which is under an evacuation order.

Smoke and poor visibility may have contributed to a vehicle collision on Highway 24 which injured one person and totaled the car.

At 1:54 p.m. Wednesday the fire had burned from Shawnee County into Jackson County.

An S-2 Air Tanker, T-95, is assisting firefighters by dropping water. Personnel from the Manhattan Fire Department have been refilling it at the airport.

Tanker 95 at Manhattan Airport in Kansas
Personnel from the Manhattan Fire Department refill Tanker 95 with water at the Manhattan Regional Airport in Kansas, November 18, 2020. The air tanker was assisting firefighters at the wildfire east of St Marys. Photo by the Fire Department.

The area is under a Red Flag Warning for strong winds and low humidity. Wednesday afternoon at St Marys the wind was out of the south-southwest at 20 to 24 mph gusting at 27 to 39 mph, with the relative humidity around 30 percent. The forecast is for breezy conditions to continue through Thursday but the humidity will rise into the 40s Thursday.

Wildfire Today’s very rough and unofficial estimate is that the fire had burned at least 1,000 acres at 1:54 p.m. CT, Nov. 18, 2020. KSNT reported it started just before 1 p.m.

Tanker 95 at Manhattan Airport in Kansas
Personnel from the Manhattan Fire Department refill Tanker 95 with water at the Manhattan Regional Airport in Kansas, November 18, 2020. The air tanker was assisting firefighters at the wildfire east of St Marys. Photo by the Fire Department.

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. Google+

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