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Kansas’ dry conditions spur wildfire worries this year

Associated Press - March 5, 2017 4:32 am

Officials worry this year's potential for a fire outbreak in Kansas could be worse than last year, when the state saw its biggest known wildfire.

Officials worry this year’s potential for a fire outbreak in Kansas could be worse than last year, when the state saw its biggest known wildfire.

Jim Unruh, a volunteer fire department chief in Marquette, helped fight last year’s Anderson Creek blaze that charred 390,000 acres in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Unruh tells The Wichita Eagle that this year “just scares me,” because of already dry conditions and a lot of fuel on some pastures.

Problems already have surfaced. Unruh’s crew last month battled a wildfire of 3,600 acres.

Kansas Forest Service fire specialist Eric Ward says the state had three large wildfires in January. “Large” is defined as a fire that burns at least 100 acres of trees or more than 300 acres of brush.

City of Salina