Author: Mary Knapp

March 6th marks the anniversary of one of the worst fire days in Kansas history. Many devastating wildfires erupted across parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Most of the fires were started by downed power lines as a result from weakened connections from the January ice storm. The largest and mostly costly fire, known as the “Starbuck Fire” occurred across Clark County. There were seven separate fires. Originating in Oklahoma, two moved near or through Englewood. Another consumed several homes just north of Ashland. Four other fires in northern Clark county consumed several homes initially but became a monster fire as a cold front moved through. The fires subsided during the first night but flared up the following late morning and afternoon on the 7th. Livestock losses may have been as many as 9,000 head. Total acres burned in just Clark County were estimated at 447,000. Besides numerous buildings, many, many miles of fence were destroyed. Early damage was estimated at 3 million dollars.

Figure 1. Front interacts with wildfire (NWS-DDC)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library