Brownback Issues Emergency Declaration Due To KS Wildfires

By: KAKE News/Associated Press Email
By: KAKE News/Associated Press Email
Courtesy The Oberlin Herald

Courtesy The Oberlin Herald

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UPDATE: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gov. Sam Brownback has issued an emergency declaration for nine counties of central and north-central Kansas, citing the risk of wildfires.

Counties covered by the declaration issued Wednesday evening are Barton, Ellis, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Phillips, Rooks and Russell.

Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said crews were fighting uncontained grass fires Wednesday evening in Phillips, Rooks and Ellis counties. Watson says grass fires were contained earlier Wednesday in Russell County, and near Great Bend in Barton County.

Other counties covered by the declaration were included because they may be in the path of spreading fires.

Watson says there have been no reports of evacuations or injuries or of houses being damaged, although some farm buildings and outbuildings have been affected.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just after 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Governor Sam Brownback issued a declaration of emergency for the following counties due to wildfires in Kansas: Barton, Ellis, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Phillips, Rooks and Russell.

Hot and dry conditions are contributing to numerous fires across the state, prompting the partial activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka. Several state agencies are responding to the SEOC to keep in contact with county emergency managers and monitor the fires.

“We can see what this hot, dry weather is doing to firefighting efforts in Colorado and other states,” said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “We want to make sure we stay ahead of the curve and be ready to render assistance to our county emergency management partners if needed.”

Several counties have put burn bans in place, including Anderson, Barton, Cheyenne, Decatur, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Logan, Mitchell, Morton, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Sherman, Thomas and Trego. The city of Olathe has also issued a burn ban.

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