Weeks of triple-digit temperatures could increase grass fires

Weeks of triple-digit temperatures could increase grass fires
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 8:16 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Not only has Kansas seen triple-digit temperatures for weeks straight but the gustier wind this weekend is making current drought conditions scarier for rural firefighters.

Fire management officer for the Kansas Forest Service, Dennis Carlson trains these rural fire crews he says the dry grass is the perfect fuel for a fire.

“Right now with the higher winds, you get a fire started at this point in the year, they’re catching those right now pretty quickly which is good. Kudos to the fire departments for catching those pretty quick,” Carlson said. “Once you get to this time of the year, that moisture content drops so much that it can burn. From the fires that have taken place, most of them seem to have taken place along the roadways at this point. A lot of that could be tow chain.”

Thanks to the higher humidity rates, Carlson says it’s harder for fires to move aggressively and spread rapidly; but says western Kansas is closer to crucial wildfire conditions than the rest of the state.

“They’ve been under a drought for a significantly long time and I was up in that area about a month ago and it’s amazing how close it is to almost dormant season up there,” said Carlson.

The only advice Carlson can give to avoid starting a grass fire be cognizant of possible sparks and to use common sense.

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