Governor issues disaster declaration for wildfire

TOPEKA, Kan. (RELEASE) Governor Jeff Colyer issued a Declaration of Disaster Emergency in response to the Wildland Fire in Stevens County in Southwest Kansas.

The Governor says additional counties may be added to this declaration as response operations continue.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka March 3 at an enhanced steady state due to very high and extreme fire weather conditions across the state, with the greatest threat in the western half of the state.

At this time, the SEOC is staffed with personnel from KDEM, Kansas National Guard, Office of the State Fire Marshal and Kansas Forest Service.

Much of the state is currently under a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service for strong winds and dry conditions.

Fires may spread rapidly out of control. KDEM officials encourage citizens to practice fire safety and to stay diligent in preventing wildfires.