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Governor Declares State of Disaster Emergency Due to High Fire Danger in Northwest Kansas


Kansas Governor Issues Emergency Declaration Due to Potential for Wildfires

TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) - Governor Laura Kelly has issued a state of disaster emergency declaration due to the high fire danger in portions of northwest Kansas during the next several days. Dry conditions coupled with low humidity and high winds will increase the potential for wildfires. The declaration authorizes the use of state resources to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria. The threat for a potentially dangerous situation exists due to a combination of northwest winds gusting up to 65 mph, blowing dust producing reduced visibilities, and critical fire weather conditions. "Wildland fires can spread rapidly and this declaration allows us to have resources on standby to assist local first responders to get fires under control as quickly as possible," Kelly said. The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is currently activated in response to the coronavirus pandemic and will be monitoring for critical fire weather across the state. It only takes one spark to touch off a wildfire, so Kansans are urged to use care when burning outside, including fires in outdoor grills, and to make sure all smoking materials are completely extinguished before discarding them.

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J. Schafer is the News Director of Kansas Public Radio. He’s also the Managing Editor of the Kansas Public Radio Network, which provides news and information to other public radio stations in Kansas and Missouri.