Author: Mary Knapp

A listener question was when did Kansas last experience wildfires. The answer is that every year, Kansas experiences fires that get out-of-control, usually with only minimal damage and only local interest. But last year, Barber County saw what was termed the largest wildfire in Kansas history. On March 22, a fire in Oklahoma crossed the border into southern Kansas. By the time it was contained almost 64 square miles or about 400,000 acres had burned. Over 250,000 acres of the affected area were in Barber County. But the fire doesn’t have to be huge to be damaging and dangerous. In 1996, the wildfire was in Shawnee county. That fire, on February 24th, consumed 25 square miles near Auburn. Three firefighters were injured, several houses were destroyed, and parts of Auburn had to be evacuated. 25,000 acres of grazing and timber were damaged. Another reminder to pay attention to the fire danger index and be careful with outdoor fires.

Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council

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