TOPEKA, Kan. -- Numerous wildfires across Kansas impacting several rural areas and grasslands were contained as of 8:30 p.m.
Aerial surveillance was conducted by the Kansas Highway Patrol to determine the extent of a large fire burning in Phillips County. KHP began surveillance shortly after 6 p.m., and assisted authorities on the ground in finding hotspots to contain the fire.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka just before 5 p.m. with staff from KDEM and other state partners including the Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas National Guard. The SEOC deactivated at 9:00 p.m.
A total of nine counties were included in a governor’s disaster declaration issued at 5:03 p.m. Wednesday. The counties impacted by the fires are Barton, Ellis, Phillips, Rooks, and Russell. Due to the anticipated path of the fires Osborne, Mitchell, and Lincoln counties were also included in the state disaster declaration. As of 7:30 p.m., fires had been contained in and near Great Bend in Barton County as well as in western Ellis County, eastern Russell County and eastern Rooks County. By 8:30 p.m. the fire in Phillips County was contained. Currently, there are no reports of injuries.
Several counties have put burn bans in place, including Anderson, Barton, Cheyenne, Decatur, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Logan, Mitchell, Morton, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas and Trego. The city of Olathe has also issued a burn ban.