Governor issues declaration of disaster emergency due to threat of wildland fires – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Governor issues declaration of disaster emergency due to threat of wildland fires

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of disaster emergency yesterday, March 3, 2022, due to the potential for wildland fires in the state on Friday and Saturday. The declaration will allow the state to preposition aerial firefighting assets from the Kansas Forest Service for a quicker response to any fires that may begin.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will activate the State Emergency Operations Center, Topeka, to a partial level Friday morning to keep in contact with county emergency offices and monitor weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service Office, Topeka, strong winds and low relative humidity with an abundance of dry vegetation will once again cause extreme fire danger across central Kansas Saturday afternoon.

“I urge all Kansans to be vigilant,” Kelly said. “Even a single spark is enough to touch off a fire that can spread rapidly and destroy farmland, homes and public infrastructure.”

“Conditions for significant wildfires are at an historic high across Kansas,” said Mark Neely, Kansas Forest Service fire management officer. “Any ignition source could cause a wildfire that will grow rapidly and burn aggressively. Help your local firefighters by checking and rechecking previously completed brush piles to make sure they are completely extinguished.”

Kansas Department of Health and Environment photo.

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