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Costs of Fighting Kansas Wildfire Exceed $1 Million

(Photo credit: Sean Sandefur, KMUW-Wichita)

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) -- Some costs of battling the largest wildfire in Kansas history have so far been tallied at more than $1 million. Barber County Attorney Gaten Wood told The Wichita Eagle that full damage estimates from the fire haven't been totaled. But he says the cost of resources from outside fire departments and the use of Kansas National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to dump water on the fire had mounted to more than $1 million. Wood says that estimate doesn't include Barber County's costs, some state costs or damage to homes, property and livestock. The fire spread from Oklahoma into Kansas last week, scorching about 620 square miles in the two states. Wood also says crews in Barber County would monitor the burned area for hot spots for weeks.

UPDATE: Comanche County Section of Wildfire Extinguished

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) —  At least one section of the wildfire that has been burning in southern Kansas since last week has been extinguished. John Lehman, emergency manager for Comanche County, told The Wichita Eagle Monday that the portion of the fire in Comanche County is out. The fire, which burned about 620 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas, hit about 93 square miles of land in Comanche County. Lehman says snowfall Sunday brought enough moisture to the burned area in Comanche County to declare the fire 100 percent controlled in that county by Sunday evening. He said firefighters no longer need to monitor for hot spots there. The fire in neighboring Barber County was considered about 81 percent contained earlier Monday.

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