Kansas Gov. Kelly issues disaster declaration over fire risk

Fire Background

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The state of Kansas is under a disaster emergency declaration through Saturday because of the risk of wildfires.

Gov. Laura Kelly signed the declaration Thursday. Conditions across the state are ripe for fire because of dry conditions, low humidity, strong winds and an abundance of dry vegetation.

“In recent years, we have seen the devastation wildland fires can cause across the state,” Governor Kelly said. “They destroy crops and grazing land, and may threaten homes and lives. This declaration will allow the state to use whatever resources we have available to mitigate the risks and respond to fires, should they occur, in support of local emergency responders.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka will be staffed through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. And the Kansas National Guard will be placed on alert to provide air support for fire suppression if needed.

Kansans are being asked to be careful when burning outside, including using grills, and to properly discard all smoking materials.

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