HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KAKE) -- Its been a problem for Kansas firefighters for years, cedar trees. Hutchinson Fire Chief Steven Beer describes them as "blow torches." He says cedars suck up a lot of ground water in the area around them, creating dry conditions that are perfect for a fire. 

Those cedars played a large role in the destruction caused by the Cottonwood Complex fire, according to Beer. "The ones off Palomino and that area, the homes that survived, you typically will not see you, might see one or so, but there's no cedar trees within 100 feet.”

He says cutting down those trees and controlling the population can be tricky, because most of the land it the area where the fire took place is private. He says a lot of the mitigation work is up to the homeowners. "Even on the residential properties, I'm not asking everybody to go in and cut down every single tree. That's not what we're asking. We're asking you to just manage it. You know, if you got three trees together, cut two and keep one.”

For homeowners who want to try to contain the invasive tree species, there are programs offered by the Kansas Forest Service to help cover the costs of removal.

You can learn more about those here or find your closest district office to learn more by visiting here.

To help those affected by the fire, you can donate to the Reno County Fire Fund, by visiting here.