Wind-fed fires have burned more than 650,000 acres in Kansas, and active fires remain in five counties, according to the latest update Wednesday from the State Emergency Operation Center.
According to the center in Topeka, the counties with active fires on Wednesday and the number of acres burned so far are:
▪ Clark, 351,000
▪ Comanche, 151,000
▪ Ellis, unknown
▪ Reno, 7,200
▪ Rooks, 5,000
It’s too early to begin to estimate the amount of damage. But it already includes dozens of homes and thousands of cattle, so the tally will be considerable, said Katie Horner, spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.
Above-normal temperatures and winds gusting to 40 mph will create “widespread critical fire weather” for central and east Kansas on Wednesday, the Kansas Forest Service says in an online forecast.
For southwest Kansas, “lighter southeast winds” are expected, the service said.
A small part of northwest Kansas also will see winds making “elevated fire weather” possible, the service said.
An increase in humidity and moisture is expected beginning Thursday.
On Tuesday, state emergency management officials said active fires were reported in these counties: Clark, Cheyenne, Comanche, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Hodgeman, Lane, Meade, Ness, Pratt, Pottawatomie, Rawlins, Reno, Rice, Rooks, Russell, Seward, Shawnee, Smith and Stevens.