1 person missing after weekend wildfires
The United Way of Reno County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) wants people to know that they were activated Sunday morning in response to the Reno County Fires yesterday. They will be there to provide volunteer, financial, spiritual, physical and/or psychological support for people whose lives have been affected by this disaster.
In coordination with the Reno County Emergency Management, VOAD wants people to contact 211 for both requests for assistance in recovery of the fire and for those wishing to donate financially to the Reno County Fire fund. It will be so important to have one central location to collect and distribute information. The VOAD will be boots on the ground walking along side of our fellow citizens to help them recover.
At least one person remains missing after wildfires taking place in Reno and Harvey counties Saturday.
During a briefing Sunday morning, investigators said in addition to the two people who are missing, several people were hurt in the weekend fires that spread across 12 miles. The fires continue to burn. Some buildings and homes are total losses. Officials say it will take multiple days to resolve. The cause of the fires remain under investigation.
A burn ban is now in effect for Reno County for the next couple of days.
Emergency personnel said while things have improved since yesterday, things can change quickly. Recently, some Kansas communities have seen wildfires spark up again – a couple of weeks after the initial fire.
Timelapse of the Cottonwood Complex Fire from our Hutchinson camera looking East. When the fire was closer to Hutchinson, the pyrocumulus display was quite impressive. Now we shift focus away from fires to rain & snow chances. #kakewx #kswx pic.twitter.com/YKjnb7FRNh— Cameron Venable (@CamVenableKAKE) March 6, 2022
Saturday, the Kansas Forest Service said it deployed crews to fires in Reno, Harvey and Pottawatomie counties. First responders worked fires from the air and on the ground.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management continues to provide resources to communities and encourages people to be alert.
“Stay away from all affected areas and do not drive through heavy smoke,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of KDEM. “Sightseeing puts you in danger and hampers the work of firefighting crews.”
Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of disaster emergency on Thursday, due to the potential for wildland fires in the state on Friday and Saturday, the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department shares. Gov. Kelly’s declaration allows the state to preposition aerial firefighting assets from the Kansas Forest Service for a quicker response to any fires that may begin.
On top of that, Harvey, Pottawatomie, Reno and Wabaunsee counties have issued their own disaster declarations.