Kansas preps wildfire resources, KC metro under burn warnings

Grass fire picture

Wild grass on fire close up photo (file photo)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued a state of disaster emergency for wildland fires as dry, warm conditions and high-speed winds roll across the state.

Kelly’s order allows and prepares state resources and personnel to “help the state respond more quickly if a fire begins to spread,” she said.

Angee Morgan, deputy director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management, warned residents about behavior that could unintentionally start fires.

“Avoid any activity that could create a spark and touch off a fire. Do not drive on or stop your car on dry or tall grass and do not throw cigarettes on the ground,” Morgan said.

Vehicles dragging chains have also been known to create showers of sparks, igniting dry grass and foliage found around roadways.

Independence, Mo. leaders has extended a burn ban that they issued on March 7. The order now lasts until Thursday, March 11 at 8 a.m.

The ban includes all outdoor burning, except for residential barbeques and grilling.

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“Additionally, in the best interest of community safety, citizens are reminded to properly dispose of smoking materials, fireplace logs and barbeque charcoal by placing them in a metal container after dousing them with water,” Independence Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Michael Ditamore said.

A Red Flag Warning, notating increased fire risk, is in effect for much of the western and southern metro and beyond. Although Independence does not fall under the warning, Jackson County borders two counties that do.

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