Osage County’s burn ban continues for Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage County’s burn ban continues for Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Update: OCEM has extended the Osage County burn ban through today, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Windy conditions continue today, with gusts up to 40 mph.

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The National Weather Service at Topeka has issued a red flag warning for the north central and east central Kansas for Monday, March 8, 2021, and Osage County Emergency Management has continued a countywide burn ban that was put into effect Sunday.

Also today, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster emergency due to a high risk of wildland fires and red flag warnings in several Kansas counties.

The burn ban for Osage County remains in effect until it is rescinded, with extreme fire danger expected through this afternoon. The red flag warning is in effect 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. this evening. In Osage County, no outside burning is permitted and all burn permits are suspended.

NWS has forecast that winds will be out of the south today at 20-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph, with relative humidity around 20 to 25 percent. Fuels will be critically dry and could support rapid fire growth. Areas impacted include all of north central, northeast and east central Kansas. Winds are expected to remain strong into Tuesday, but increasing moisture should temper the fire danger.

The governor issued the state of emergency due to elevated or critical fire weather expected over the next four days. Tuesday and Wednesday a storm system is forecast to move across the state bringing strong winds that make fire more challenging and dangerous to control. Fuels are extremely dry across the state. Fire behavior has been erratic over the last several days, making suppression difficult.

“It is because wildfires can spring up so suddenly under these conditions that I have put this disaster declaration in place,” Kelly said. “Placing resources such as these helicopters and other resources on standby help the state respond more quickly if a fire begins to spread.”

The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

During a red flag warning, citizens are advised to avoid any outdoor burning, and take precautions to not accidentally start wildfires such as by throwing cigarettes out the window.

“As we are faced with multiple days of dangerous fire weather conditions, we are focusing our resources on supporting local fire departments,” said Kansas State Forester Jason Hartman. “Please take extra precautions to eliminate the risk of sparking a wildfire to keep those firefighters and our communities safe.”

“Kansans should remain vigilant about preventing fires,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “Avoid any activity that could create a spark and touch off a fire. Do not drive on or stop your car on dry or tall grass and do not throw cigarettes on the ground.”

Information thanks to Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Osage County Emergency Management; graphic National Weather Service.

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