Category Archives: Outdoors

County extends expiration date of burn permits for 4 years

The Osage County Board of Commissioners recently passed a resolution that extends all burn permit expiration dates to Dec. 31, 2022. This will ensure that there is a uniform date for expiration of burn permits. All newly issued and current permits are now valid until that date.

The resolution also authorizes Osage County Emergency Management to issue a burn ban when fire districts or fire resources are overwhelmed by a large fire or multiple fire incidents.

Corps closes 110 Mile Park campground at Pomona Lake

VASSAR, Kan. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the permanent closure of 110 Mile Campground at Pomona Lake effective May 1, 2018.

The closure was blamed on underutilization and projected budget restrictions. According to a statement from the Corps, the camping area, equestrian area, and nature trail will close in an effort to improve other park operating efficiencies and provide quality recreation opportunities for the public.

The day-use boat ramp facility at 110 Mile Park will remain open with no operational changes. Equestrian camping and a day use parking lot has been moved to Cedar Park, positioning the equestrian area in the middle of Black Hawk Trail.

Along with Cedar Park, 110 Mile Park was one of the last two free federal campgrounds located in Osage County.

For more information, contact the Pomona Lake Project Office at 785-453-2201. 

Burn ban Monday: Strong winds, warm temperatures cause very high fire danger

Osage County Emergency Management has banned all outdoor burning due to very high fire danger today, Monday, April 30, 2018. A forecast of possible wind gusts of up to 45 mph this afternoon contributes to the rangeland fire index in the very high category for much of northeast Kansas.

A county burn ban means no outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. May 1, unless the burn ban is extended.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

The National Weather Service at Topeka forecasts today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 81; windy, with a south wind 20 to 30 mph, and gusts as high as 45 mph. In addition, NWS has issued a wind advisory that will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Wednesday: Strong winds cause very high fire danger

Osage County Emergency Management has banned all outdoor burning due to very high fire danger today, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. A forecast of possible wind gusts of up to 40 mph this afternoon contributes to the rangeland fire index in the very high category for much of northeast Kansas.

A county burn ban means no outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. April 19, unless the burn ban is extended.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

The National Weather Service at Topeka forecasts today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 58; windy, with a northwest wind 25 to 30 mph, and gusts as high as 40 mph.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Gardeners, lawn owners learn to fight moles on their own turf

“You’ll either learn to trap them or learn to live with them,” Charlie Lee, K-State’s wildlife damage control specialist, told the crowd gathered last Saturday morning at Peggy and Gary DeForeest’s home in rural Scranton, Kan., for a mole eradication workshop.

The Frontier Extension District hosted the workshop, which provided information to about 30 frustrated gardeners and homeowners. Damaged lawns make moles very unpopular, and with mowing season starting up, the creatures have come under fire.

The only successful way to rid your lawn of the insect eating mammal is to learn how and where to trap them, Lee said.

He discussed other eradication methods, noting that if you believe everything you see on TV or the Internet, you might have purchased repellants, toxicants, fumigants, ground shakers, or sonar devices to try to rid your yard of the pests. Almost all of those things are not effective, he said.

Moles prefer live, moving prey, which makes most poisoned food uninviting to them, the specialist said. Seeing mole holes by major highways indicates ground-shaking products are also ineffective.

Be prepared for tornado emergencies, know these local warning siren facts

By Bryce Romine
OCEM Director

As we approach the spring tornado and severe weather season, here are a few facts about tornado sirens:

  • Tornado sirens are an outside warning system only.
  • When you heard a tornado siren go inside, take cover, and tune to local media for more information.
  • It is a good idea to have a second means of receiving warnings such as a NOAA weather radio or sign up for alerts at Osage County’s website (under Osage County Emergency Management or the sheriff’s office at www.osageco.org.)
  • Osage County tornado sirens are tested at 1 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of month, unless there is inclement weather.
  • Sirens are not used to give an all clear – if you hear a second warning take cover. All clear information is broadcasted by local media.
  • Osage County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for activation of the tornado sirens. During a real event the tornado sirens are activated following a warning being issued by the National Weather Service.

Burn ban Friday: NWS issues wind advisory, warns of very high fire danger

Osage County Emergency Management has banned all outdoor burning due to very high fire danger today, Friday, April 13, 2018. In addition, the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory in effect until 1 p.m. for northeast Kansas.

A county burn ban means no outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. April 14, unless the burn ban is extended.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

The NWS forecasts the strongest wind speeds are expected through the morning hours today. Winds will be southerly and range from 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40-50 mph. Light weight lawn furniture or garbage cans could be blown around by the strong winds. Driving high profile vehicles will be difficult.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Thursday: Windy conditions continue, cause very high fire danger

Osage County Emergency Management has banned all outdoor burning due to very high fire danger today, Thursday, April 12, 2018. In addition, the National Weather Service is advising that strong winds and very high fire danger will continue into Friday in northeast Kansas.

A county burn ban means no outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. April 13, unless the burn ban is extended.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

The NWS forecast says today will be sunny, with a high near 81, and breezy, with a south wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Wednesday: Windy conditions cause very high fire danger

The National Weather Service at Topeka has issued a wind advisory for today, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, and Osage County Emergency Management has banned all outdoor burning due to very high fire danger.

The burn ban means no outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. April 12, unless the burn ban is extended. NWS has forecast that strong winds will continue into Friday in northeast Kansas.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort. A wind advisory means that sustained winds of 30 mph or gusts to 45 mph are expected. Steps should be taken to secure any lawn furniture or light weight objects and use extra caution when driving.

The NWS forecast says today will be sunny, with a high near 78, and windy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Wind gusts could be as high as 40 mph.

The current wind advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. this morning to 7 p.m. this evening for Osage, Morris, Lyon and Coffey counties.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Health advisory, safety tips issued during Flint Hills burning season

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reminding Kansans that springtime is when large areas of the state’s Flint Hills rangeland are burned. These burns help preserve the tallgrass prairie, control invasive species such as eastern red cedar and sumac and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning minimizes risk of wildfires and is effective in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas. The use of smoke management techniques is vital to reduce impacts.

KDHE activated the Kansas smoke modeling tool on March 1, prior to widespread burning in the Flint Hills. On average there are approximately 2.3 million acres burned in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma each year.

For burns to be safe and effective, weather and rangeland conditions must be ideal. Many landowners will burn at the same time when such conditions are met. Air pollutants from the burns can affect persons in the Flint Hills and can be carried long distances to more populated areas.

“We encourage ranchers and land managers to take advantage of this smoke modeling resource to spread out their burns more effectively and mitigate potential air quality impacts,” said Douglas Watson, KDHE meteorologist.

Spring Aboard: Boaters urged to be educated before boating season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The temperature may still be cool outside, but it is a perfect time of year to start getting prepared for the boating season. Boating safety advocates are urging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the main boating season. Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign is a nationally coordinated effort during the week of March 18-24, 2018, to increase the awareness of taking a boating education course.

“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water,” said Tom Guess, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and lead organization for Spring Aboard. “If a boater has taken a boating safety education course the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater for them as well as their passengers. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing, and spring is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”

Burn ban Friday: Gusty, dry conditions cause extreme fire danger

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for north central and east central Kansas for this afternoon, including Osage County, as conditions develop for extreme fire danger. Additionally, Osage County Emergency Management has extended a burn ban currently in effect and all burn permits are suspended for today, Friday, March 16, 2018.

NWS issued a red flag warning for today due to expected strong gusty winds, low relative humidity levels, and dry fuels. The conditions also will also cause extreme fire danger in other portions of the state, roughly along and south of a line from Minneapolis to Ottawa. Southeast winds will become southwest and gusty today in the warning area.

The burn ban issued for Osage County means no outside burning is allowed and all burn permits are suspended. The burn ban is in effect until 8 a.m. March 17, but could be extended depending on conditions.

Extreme fire danger means any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.

NWS forecasts south winds today at 15-25 mph with gusts of 25-35 mph, becoming southwest this afternoon and eventually becoming northwest tonight. Relative humidity will be around 20 to 25 percent through the early evening hours, increasing to near 60 percent by midnight tonight. There is a small chance for a few strong to severe storms this afternoon.

Under these conditions, outdoor burning is not recommended. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Frontier Extension to show how to rid moles from your yard

Information meetings to be at rural Scranton, Garnett

Tired of seeing those dirt mounds and mole runs in your yard? Want to know how to get rid of those pesky moles? The Frontier Extension District will be hosting informative meetings on moles on April 6 in Garnett and April 7 near Scranton.

The Osage County meeting will be at 10 a.m. April 7, 2018, at Gary and Peggy DeForeest’s home at 280 E. 197th St., Scranton. Go just north of mile marker 133 on Highway 75, north of Lyndon, and turn east on 197th Street. The DeForeests live in the first house on the north side of the road.

The April 6 meeting will start at 6 p.m. at Robert and Jodi Steele’s home at 22760 NW 1750 Road, Garnett. From Highway 59 Hwy go to Fourth Street and turn west; keep going until you reach the stop sign and then continue on west for a half mile. They will be the first house on the south side of the road.

At the meetings, discussion will be about mole behavior and how to get rid of moles, and Charlie Lee, K-State’s wildlife damage control specialist, will give a trapping demonstration.

NWS issues new fire weather warning for Thursday evening and Friday

The National Weather Service at Topeka has issued a new fire weather warning for the remainder of today and Friday, covering Osage County and Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Lyon, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties.

A red flag warning remains in effect until 8 p.m. this evening, due to low relative humidity, gusty winds and dry fuels. In addition, the red flag warning has been extended to 10 a.m to 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2018.

Wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph are expected to occur this afternoon and again late Friday morning into Friday afternoon. Humidity will remain in the 20 to 25 percent range across the area this afternoon, and will fall into the 20 to 25 percent range across the area Friday afternoon.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Burn ban Thursday: Gusty winds, warm temps, low humidity causes extreme fire danger

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for north central and east central Kansas for this afternoon, and declared extreme fire danger in other portions of the state, including Osage County. Osage County Emergency Management has extended a burn ban enacted yesterday and all burn permits are suspended for today, Thursday, March 15, 2018.

NWS’s red flag warning is in effect from 1 p.m. this afternoon to 8 p.m. this evening for north central and east central Kansas due to expected strong gusty winds, low relative humidity levels, and dry fuels. The conditions also will also cause extreme fire danger in other portions of the state, including Osage County.

The burn ban issued for Osage County means no outside burning is allowed and all burn permits are suspended. The burn ban is in effect until 8 a.m. March 16, but may be extended depending on conditions.

Extreme fire danger means any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.

NWS reports the combination of increasing southeast winds of 15-20 mph gusting up to 30 mph along with low relative humidity in the 20-25 percent range will lead to the extreme fire danger conditions across much of northeast Kansas this afternoon. Forecast is a sunny day with a high near 74. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Wednesday: NWS issues red flag warning due to high winds, low humidity

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for north central and northeast Kansas for this afternoon, and all burn permits in Osage County are suspended for today, Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

NWS’s red flag warning is in effect from 1 p.m. this afternoon to 7 p.m. this evening due to expected strong gusty winds, low relative humidity levels, and dry fuels.

The burn ban issued for Osage County means no outside burning is allowed and all burn permits are suspended. The burn ban is in effect until 8 a.m. March 15, but may be extended depending on conditions.

The red flag warning covers the following Kansas counties: Republic, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Douglas, Lyon, Osage, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. Today’s forecast includes wind gusts of 25 to 32 mph in the afternoon, with humidity falling to 16 to 20 percent across much of the area.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Governor declares drought emergency, warnings, watches for all Kansas counties

TOPEKA, Kan. – Today Gov. Jeff Colyer issued drought declarations for Kansas counties with an executive order at a press conference with Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey and Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter. The declaration includes all 105 counties either in an emergency, warning or watch status.

“The entire state of Kansas has been considered in drought or abnormally dry conditions for the past several weeks,” Colyer said. “This has led to an extremely high risk of fire hazards and many have already occurred.”

The drought declaration placed 28 counties in emergency status, 29 into a warning status and 48 into a watch status. This action was recommended by Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office and chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team. Over the past six months the state-wide average precipitation was only 66 percent of normal and in January and February the state-wide average precipitation was even less, at 43 percent of normal.

Dangerous conditions spark numerous fires across Kansas

The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department provided an update on recent Kansas fires, some that continue to burn as of today. According to the department, most are in some level of containment.

Approximately 50 fires were reported to the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka since Monday, burning more than 25,000 acres.

Greenwood County is currently fighting a wildfire near the town of Hamilton. The Kansas Army National Guard is providing aerial firefighting support for local firefighters.

Aerial and ground firefighting resources were coordinated by the SEOC through the Kansas Forest Service and Kansas Army National Guard to augment fire suppression efforts by local responders. Soldiers of the Kansas National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, along with troopers from the Kansas Highway Patrol and personnel from the Kansas Forest Service provided aerial and ground support to local crews battling fires in Ellis and other counties yesterday and the Greenwood County fire today.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is providing support and coordination of state and federal resources as requested by the counties. County emergency managers may continue to report incidents and request state assistance to augment local response and recovery actions through the state’s 24-hour emergency notification line.

Weather conditions are improving with increased relative humidity and decreasing wind. However, grass remains very dry and people should remain vigilant about preventing fires. Avoid any activity that could create a spark and touch off a new fire. Do not drive on or stop your car on dry or tall grass because the exhaust can spark a fire. Do not throw cigarettes on the ground. Stay away from all affected areas and do not drive through heavy smoke. Sightseeing puts people in danger and hampers the work of firefighting crews.

Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., has declared a state of disaster emergency that includes Barber, Clark, Ellis, Greenwood, Harper, Kingman, Logan, Reno, Smith, and Stevens counties.

Burn ban Wednesday: High fire danger in Osage County

All burn permits in Osage County are suspended for today, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, due to high fire danger caused by breezy conditions. This is a no burn day with no outside burning allowed in Osage County. The permit suspension will be in effect until 8 a.m. March 8, 2018, but could be extended. Fire danger is also expected to be high on Thursday.

According to Osage County Emergency management, the rangeland fire danger index will be in the high category this afternoon. High fire danger means fires can start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All outdoor burning should be avoided.

The National Weather Service forecast a sunny day with high near 46, and breezy northwest wind at 10-20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Tuesday: High winds cause high fire danger

All burn permits in Osage County are suspended for today, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, due to high fire danger caused by strong winds. This is a no burn day with no outside burning allowed in Osage County. The permit suspension will be in effect until 8 a.m. March 7, 2018, but could be extended.

According to Osage County Emergency management, the rangeland fire danger index will be in the high category today due to gusty winds. High fire danger means fires can start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All outdoor burning should be avoided.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory through 7 p.m. today. Sustained northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected, with gusts of 45 to 50 mph. During a wind advisory, steps should be taken to secure any lawn furniture or light weight objects, and extra caution should be used when driving.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323.

Burn ban Monday: Extreme fire danger expected across Osage County

All burn permits in Osage County are suspended for today, Monday, March 5, 2018, due to extreme fire danger. This is a no burn day with no outside burning allowed in Osage County. The permit suspension will be in effect until 8 a.m. March 6, 2018, but could be extended.

According to Osage County Emergency management, the rangeland fire danger index will be in the extreme category today due to gusty winds. Extreme fire danger means fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All outdoor burning should be avoided.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from noon to 8 p.m. today. Wind gusts to 45 mph are expected.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Bryce Romine, Osage County emergency management director, at 785-828-3323.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas