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Wichita burn ban extended to Monday

A Wichita firefighter hoses down hot spots from a grass fire near 25th and Poplar on Wednesday afternoon. The fire swept north from 25th to 26th streets, igniting a house and setting other small fires.
A Wichita firefighter hoses down hot spots from a grass fire near 25th and Poplar on Wednesday afternoon. The fire swept north from 25th to 26th streets, igniting a house and setting other small fires. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita Fire Department officials have extended through the weekend the burn ban currently in place.

The extension was approved following the review of conditions Friday. Dry vegetation, low humidity and robust winds have combined to set the stage for extreme grass fire risks, and firefighters in the metropolitan area have been busy this week.

Six houses and three sheds were damaged in north Wichita on Wednesday afternoon by a grass fire that caused an estimated $80,000 in damage, officials have said.

All open burning, including using fire pits and outdoor fireplaces, is prohibited during the ban, Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said in a prepared statement. Cigarettes should be fully extinguished in water before being properly disposed of in a metal can, he said.

Discarded cigarettes have been blamed for a number of recent fires, including the north Wichita grass fire and a house fire in west Wichita last weekend that caused $600,000 in damage.

The burn ban does not include outdoor cooking appliances, Crisp said. The ban will be re-evaluated Monday.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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