Dry conditions in southern Kansas has officials warning of fire danger

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dry conditions in southern Kansas has officials warning of extreme grass fire danger for Friday

Strong winds, above normal temperatures and very dry conditions will support extreme grassland fire danger Friday afternoon across south-central and southeast Kansas. Temperatures are expected 70 degrees.

The National Weather Service and the KSN Storm Track 3 Weather Center are forecasting gusty winds as we head into the weekend.

Outdoor burning is highly discouraged Friday. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and become very difficult to control as much of the state has been without measurable precipitation in the last 30 to 60 days.

You will also want to make sure your outdoor holiday decorations are secured due to the wind.

Fire safety tips

  • Residents living in drought stricken areas should reduce brush, trees and other flammable materials away from their home.
  • Before building a campfire, check local regulations.
  • When putting a campfire out, drown it with water. Stir the fire with water and dirt until all fuel is cold to the touch. Never leave a fire until it is out cold.
  • Campers are asked to be careful with gas lanterns, barbeques, gas stoves and anything else that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.
  • Each year, machinery and equipment are the cause of numerous wildfires. With a little extra care, most of these fires are easily preventable. Clean accumulated grass and debris away from exhaust systems and bearings. Make sure all bearings are lubricated. Service all spark arresters. Keep a shovel, water and working fire extinguisher on the equipment.
  • Keep vehicles off dry grass. Exhaust systems can heat up to 1,000 degrees and ignite adjacent grasses and shrubs. Park only in designated parking areas or over non-flammable surfaces (such as graveled or dirt areas), and never in tall grass.
  • Expect the unexpected and stay on designated roads and trails. When operating vehicles “off road” (or across grassy or brushy open fields), there are many hidden hazards that can disable a vehicle, bringing the exhaust system into prolonged contact with dry grass, or brush. Grasses and brush can also get caught beneath the vehicle and come into contact with the exhaust system, allowing the vehicle to spread fire over great distances.

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