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Hot & Dry Fourth of July + Fireworks = Danger


Larger-Old-Glory-EditOld Glory in downtown Arlington, KS. (Photo by J. Schafer)

The hot and dry conditions across Kansas this week, coupled with Fourth of July fireworks, make for an extremely dangerous situation.  Extreme temperatures and tinder-dry conditions have prompted at least 45 Kansas counties to institute burn bans.  Electronic highway signs across the state are urging motorists not to discard their cigarettes from automobiles out of fear that a burning ember will ignite grassland fires.  Heat warnings and advisories are also in place statewide.  The Kansas State Fire Marshall's office is urging extreme caution and care with fireworks.  Historically, the 4th of July is one of the busiest days for fire departments, which typically respond to twice as many calls on Independence Day than on any other day of the year.


Governor Updates List of KS Counties Under Drought Conditions

Drought conditions are worsening across much of Kansas.  Governor Sam Brownback has now updated an earlier "Drought Declaration."  The update includes all 105 counties either in an emergency, warning or watch status.  Brownback said, "Dry, windy and above normal temperatures in Kansas have led to a Drought Emergency declaration for 36 counties. Below normal precipitation patterns are not only depleting available soil moisture, but these types of conditions have resulted in numerous fires as well.”  The updated drought declaration has 36 counties in an emergency status, 55 counties in a warning status and 14 in watch status. This action was recommended to the governor by Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team.

Drought Emergency:

Barton, Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Finney, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Norton, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita

Drought Warning:

Allen, Anderson, Barber, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Dickinson, Douglas, Edwards, Ellsworth, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewel, Johnson, Kingman, Kiowa, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Miami, Mitchell, Morris, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Stafford, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Woodson, Wyandotte

Drought Watch:

Atchison, Brown, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Doniphan, Elk, Labette, Marshall, Montgomery, Nemaha, Neosho, Wilson


For more detailed information about current conditions, see the Kansas Climate Summary and Drought Report on the Kansas Water Office website at:



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