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Crews Bringing Wildfires Under Control in Kansas and Oklahoma

Police officer Todd Geist stands under a cloud of smoke and blowing dirt as he blocks traffic in Medicine Lodge.  Some roads have been closed due to smoke from a large range grass fire near the city. (Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News via AP)

KIOWA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a wildfire in south-central Kansas still poses a threat but conditions are improving in the two counties most affected. Ben Bauman, director of public affairs for the Kansas Department of the Adjutant General, said in a statement early today (THUR) that the fires in Comanche County were under control. Fires in adjacent Barber County have improved but are still being monitored. Bauman says the fire went around the town of Medicine Lodge, where authorities had said earlier that up to 1,000 structures were threatened. One home and outbuilding were destroyed on the outskirts of town. The fire started in an Oklahoma border county Tuesday and moved into Kansas. It has burned nearly 110 square miles. Governor Sam Brownback has declared a state of disaster emergency for some areas, authorizing state resources to assist. So far, about 625 square miles of land have been charred across the two states.

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