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Officials predict another bad year in Kansas for wildfires


This could be another bad year for wildfires in Kansas. That warning issued earlier this week comes after back to back years of the worst wildfires in state history, which burned thousands of acres and destroyed homes, cattle, fences and powerlines.


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Fire fighters from across Kansas and Oklahoma battle a major wildfire near Protection last MarchOfficials say the risk for wildfires is elevated across most of Kansas and the southern Plains thanks to drought conditions and plenty of dead vegetation primed to burn Bo Rader The Wichita Eagle Fire fighters from across Kansas and Oklahoma battle a major wildfire near Protection last MarchOfficials say the risk for wildfires is elevated across most of Kansas and the southern Plains thanks to drought conditions and plenty of dead vegetation primed to burn Bo Rader The Wichita Eagle jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.leadAssets.init(); }); Weather Officials predict another bad year in Kansas for wildfires By Stan Finger sfinger@wichitaeagle.com LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Reddit Print Order Reprint of this Story $(document).ready(function () { mi.articleShareTools.init({ nextLinkedin: '11246', nextPinterest: '11451' }); mi.socialSharingScroll.init(); }); January 16, 2018 09:07 PM This could be another bad year for wildfires in Kansas. That warning issued earlier this week comes after back to back years of the worst wildfires in state history, which burned thousands of acres and destroyed homes, cattle, fences and powerlines. “We’re setting up for about the same thing again this spring,” Comanche County Fire Chief Greg Ellis said“Everybody’s nervous.” The central and southern Plains, including western and southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma and most of Texas, faces an elevated threat of wildfires through April, according to Kansas State University scientists and a government organization that assesses risks. jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.renderNewsletterIframe.init({ container: '#newsletter-signUpWidget', url: 'http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=106,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=109,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=113' }); }); Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.calltoActionCtrl.init(); }); Lots of rain from April through September prompted the heavy growth of brush and grass resulting in “large to significant fuel loads” across the region, said Chip Redmond, a meteorologist with Kansas State University’s Mesonet. Abnormally dry weather west of Wichita over the past three months, along with dry air masses, sunshine and breezy conditions are rapidly depleting any remaining moisture and drying out grass and brush, he said. Mid to long-range forecasts call for more dry weather. “We are setting the stage for some large fires in Kansas,” Redmond said in a prepared statement issued with a report from the National Interagency Coordination Center. Fire season has already started in some parts of the state, officials in southwest Kansas say. “We’re already having some dangerous fires,” said Troy Wolf, Southwest Trustee for the Kansas Fire Fighters Association, who lives in Johnson near the Colorado border“It’s going to look pretty rough” this year. More Videos 1:33 Man who tried to rob wig shop shot Pause 1:53 Kansas game warden recovers snowy owl in an open field 3:42 Farming Peterson brothers' farm song medley 3:03 Highlights from Kansas State's win over Oklahoma 0:16 Man seen shoving referee in youth basketball game 7:32 Wichita police chief answers questions about fatal swatting incident 1:54 Mother reacts to son's killing by police 8"> 2:33 Senate votes to fund government through Feb8 1:51 A beginner's guide to Aldi 5:46 City creates citizen's review board for the Wichita police Video Link copy Embed Code copy Facebook Twitter Email Drone video captures wildfire-ravaged Kansas landscape A drone captures stark images of the scarred Kansas land near Coldwater and Greensburg on March 8, 2017(Courtesy of Jonah Sowa/Kiowa County Media Center) if ( typeof allowAds === 'undefined' ) { var allowAds = false; } wpsRequire([ 'video' ], function ( video ) { return 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