EWB Fire burns thousands of acres in southern Kansas

The fire was approximately 18 miles southwest of Medicine Lodge

EWB Fire Barber County Kansas S-2 air tanker 95
Tanker 95 makes a drop on the EWB fire in Barber County, Kansas March 25, 2020. From the Kansas Forest Service Facebook page.

Firefighters from 11 agencies battled a wildfire in southern Kansas on March 25 assisted by two UH-60 National Guard Blackhawk helicopters and a privately owned S-2 air tanker.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a disaster declaration for the EWB Fire burning in Barber County just north of the Oklahoma border about 18 miles southwest of Medicine Lodge.

“The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria,” the governor’s office explained.

Wildfire Today’s very unofficial estimate of the size of the fire based on satellite detections of heat puts it at approximately 4,000 acres. By the end of the day firefighters had mostly stopped the spread of the fire.

Below is an excerpt from the Kansas Forest Service Facebook page, posted March 26, 2020.

Yesterday afternoon, Air Tanker 95, piloted by Bill Garrison, under contract with the Kansas Forest Service was assigned to the EWB Fire in Barber County. Air Tanker 95 made five drops on the EWB Fire with the support of KFS DFMO Bryce Haverkamp who tied in with the local incident commander. This fire brought back memories for many involved as it followed the burn scar from the Anderson Creek Fire of 2016. The collaborative efforts of many agencies and firefighters across the area prevented a wildfire from becoming what could have been a catastrophic wildfire. With social distancing, it may be a while before you are able to thank your local firefighters for their hard work on stopping the EWB Fire – so be sure to send them a text, give them a call, direct message on social media, or air five to thank them for everything they do to protect our Kansas communities.

map EWB Fire Barber County Kansas
Map showing heat on the EWB fire detected by a satellite at 2:55 p.m. CDT March 25, 2020. Wildfire Today.

EWB Fire Barber County Kansas helicopters Blackhawk EWB Fire Barber County Kansas

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Matt. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Structures burn in Oklahoma wildfire

A fire in the panhandle has burned over 29,000 ares

Map 412 Fire in Beaver County, Oklahoma
Map of the 412 Fire in Beaver County, Oklahoma. Data from 1:30 p.m. CDT March 8, 2020, by Oklahoma Forestry Services. The map shows a small fire northwest of the larger 412 Fire which is the Beaver Road Fire that occurred Sunday, March 1, 2020.

(UPDATED at 8:01 p.m. CDT March 8, 2020)

After more accurate mapping the Oklahoma Forestry Services reported Sunday afternoon that the Beaver Fire in Beaver County has burned 29,120 acres and is 50 percent contained. Crews continue to improve fireline and mopup hot spots.

On Saturday Cody Rehder of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol wrote on Twitter, “The town of Beaver is being evacuated at this time. The fire has reached the SW edge of town. Structures are on fire and the HS football field as burned.”

412 Fire in Beaver County, OK
Photos from the 412 Fire in Beaver County, OK. Photos by Cody Rehder of the OK Highway Patrol, March 7, 2020.

(UPDATED at 12:55 p.m.CST March 8, 2020)

The Beaver fire in the panhandle of Oklahoma is still estimated to be 13,000 acres, but that could change after more accurate mapping is complete. Saturday the Oklahoma Forestry Services responded to 30 new wildfires.

In a Sunday morning update the OFS said, “OFS are over the fire in an [Oklahoma Highway Patrol] aircraft mapping the fire and coordinating with ground resources. Rain chances do enter the southwestern part of the state this afternoon and gradually move east through the state, but going fires from yesterday will remain active.”

Crow Fire in Latimer County
A new fire Sunday morning, the Crow Fire, in Latimer Co. near Panola Mtn. OFS photo.

(Originally published at 9:37 p.m. CST March 7, 2020)

The 412 Fire in the Oklahoma panhandle has destroyed structures and burned approximately 13,000 acres, the Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) announced in an update at about 8 p.m. CST Saturday. At about 7:30 p.m. Saturday the OFS said fire had been at least temporarily stopped at the EW 100 road three miles north of Beaver.

The communities of Beaver and Forgan are under evacuation orders.  Firefighters from Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas are battling the fire along with Air Tanker 95, a privately owned S-2 aircraft formerly operated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The air tanker is under a call when needed arrangement in Kansas, operated by Ag Air Service out of Nikerson, Kansas. The aircraft can carry up to 800 gallons and still has the radial engines, unlike the S-2s operated by CAL FIRE today that have been converted to turbine engines.

Air Tanker 95
Air Tanker 95. Photo by Kansas Forest Service.

There are no details available as to the number of structures that have been destroyed or the locations. Damage assessments are underway.

Red Flag Warnings Oklahoma
Red Flag Warnings in northwest Oklahoma, March 7, 2020.

The area was under a Red Flag Warning on Saturday. Strong winds pushed the fire approximately 14 miles across plains.

The 412 Fire occurs one day after the three-year anniversary of the huge Starbuck Fire that burned half a million acres across Oklahoma and Kansas. State and county officials estimated the fire caused at least $50 million in damages.

The 412 Fire near Beaver was one of 19 wildfires the OFS responded to across the state Saturday.


Oklahoma 412 fire wildfire Beaver
Satellite image showing heat detected on the 412 Fire in the Oklahoma panhandle at 5 p.m. DST March 7, 2020. GOES-17 NASA image.
Oklahoma 412 fire wildfire Beaver smoke
412 Fire, March 7, 2020. Photo by Oklahoma Forestry Services.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Matt. Typos or errors, report them HERE.