KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gusty winds and dry conditions have fire departments across the metro on high alert for grass fires in the region. 

With the risk of Grass fires and wildfires across the metro, the governor of Kansas declared a State of Disaster Emergency, but it’s an issue that’s arisen on both sides of the state line.

“We got humidity and low moisture in our fuels and this wind is crazy. We just ask people to be careful while they are outside with fire this weekend,” said Jeff DeGraffenreid fire chief of the Olathe Fire Department.

The metro area is already getting its fair share of scares so far after two firefighters were injured badly in a grass fire Friday. One of those first responders remains in the hospital.

“Our fire department in particular has some training and some tools that will help us respond to these fires, but as we say, we would really like people to prevent fires and we don’t have to respond to them,” said DeGraffenreid.

In Douglas County, they’re dealing with a different problem. They say someone is taking advantage of the conditions and has set 24 grass fires on purpose.

“At this time, it is under investigation. We don’t have anybody to name at this point. It is an investigation between Douglas County sheriff, Lawrence police, and the fire department,” said Kevin Joles of the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.

Both men agree this is a weekend to be weather-wise, watching the things you’re cooking with.
Even suggesting gas grills, or nothing else. Also, be more careful than usual with smoking materials.

“A fire anywhere is not good and a grass fire in wind like this can travel very fast and we would say stay out of the way it, don’t try to put it out yourself. Call the fire department. We will be there as quick as we can,” DeGraffenreid said.

The bottom line, message is to be careful and be safe.

“As long as people are safe they can have lots of fun outside without fire.”