Authors: Christopher Redmond, Mary Knapp

Kansas State University, K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Forest Service are all represented on the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council (KIWC). KIWC consists of federal and state agencies with a focus on wildfires, their impacts, and prevention. For the second year, Governor Sam Brownback has signed a proclamation from KIWC designating February 22-27, 2016 as Wildfire Awareness Week in Kansas.

In 2015, 5,945 wildfires were reported in Kansas resulting in 21 injuries and nearly $4.9 million in property loss and damage. These fires burned approximately 187,000 acres. Kansas averages around 6,000 wildfires totaling 150,000 acres each year. A majority of these fires occur in the spring and are the result of human activities.

During Wildfire Awareness Week, KIWC and first responders remind all Kansas citizens to exercise safe, responsible behavior when conducting outdoor burning, now and during the coming season. Over 80% of first responders are volunteers. Some extra vigilance from those who do any kind of burning goes a long way to reducing the occurrence of wild land fire, the resulting injuries and property loss, and the demand on those volunteers.

For additional information:

On the KIWC, visit www.twitter.com/wildfireKS

In protecting yourself against wildfires, visit www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/

About safe burning practices, visit http://www.kansasforests.org/fire_management/

Weather forecasts, visit your local National Weather Service page www.weather.gov

Real-time weather observations, visit www.mesonet.ksu.edu

Christopher Redmond, Weather Data Library

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library