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Wind-blown fires burn about 40 square miles in Kansas

Wind-blown fires burn about 40 square miles in Kansas

Wabaunsee Co. firefighters, along with Shawnee Co. and Auburn firefighters, are also battling a grass fire near Echo Ridge and Harveyville Road.

Weather conditions are improving with increased relative humidity and decreasing wind.

The Kansas Adjutant General's Office sent two Black Hawk helicopters and soldiers to help suppress the fire.

As dozens of wildfires continue to burn throughout the state, emergency crews are reminding people to remain vigilant about preventing fires.

Wind-blown fires burn about 40 square miles in Kansas

Approximately 50 fires were reported to the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka since Monday, burning more than 25,000 acres. Do not drive on or stop your vehicle on dry or tall grass because your exhaust can spark a fire; do not throw cigarettes on the ground. Motorists are also urged to stay away from the affected areas and they should not try to drive through heavy smoke. Ellis County Emergency Management was urging people to avoid interstate 70 as well as Commerce Parkway and the East side of Hays.

The highest wind gust was 70 miles per hour in western Kansas. The copters had been helping with wildfires in Ellis County. An EMS/fire tower tumbled in Logan County. But by late afternoon, Kansas had just two fires burning in Wabaunsee and Greeley counties. According to reports, traffic from Interstate 70 was being diverted or stopped.

Strong winds created a high fire danger across much of Kansas on Tuesday and crews had to deal with a number of grass fires that were spread by strong north winds.

The Ellis County Fire Department greatly appreciates the help of all the local volunteers, local businesses, and farmers who have generously donated food, water, and support to all the firefighters working the scene. The only areas where red flag fire warnings haven't been issued are in northeast and far north-central.

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