TOPEKA, Kan. -- At 5:03 p.m. Wednesday, Governor Sam Brownback issued a declaration of emergency for the following counties due to wildfires in Kansas: Barton, Ellis, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Phillips, Rooks and Russell.
Hot and dry conditions are contributing to numerous fires across the state, prompting the partial activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka. Several state agencies are responding to the SEOC to keep in contact with county emergency managers and monitor the fires.
“We can see what this hot, dry weather is doing to firefighting efforts in Colorado and other states,” said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “We want to make sure we stay ahead of the curve and be ready to render assistance to our county emergency management partners if needed.”
Several counties have put burn bans in place, including Anderson, Barton, Cheyenne, Decatur, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Logan, Mitchell, Morton, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Sherman, Thomas and Trego. The city of Olathe has also issued a burn ban.