WICHITA — Dry vegetation and robust northerly winds are combining to create a heightened fire risk in the Wichita area today, officials said.
The fire danger index for south-central Kansas is set at "very high," meaning fires can start very easily and spread rapidly.
Outdoor burning is discouraged today, especially near grassy areas. Outdoor cutting, grinding and welding of metal is also discouraged, because of the sparks that work can generate.
"They should just be very careful about using their grills, burning trash — anything that they do that involves flames," Sedgwick County Fire Marshal Tim Millspaugh said.
The most vulnerable period for fires will be between noon and 5 p.m., he said. Winds are expected to gust above 40 miles an hour during the day, but then ease after sunset.
Tuesday will see more humid conditions and calmer winds, Millspaugh said. That should ease the fire threat considerably.