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Energy and Environment

High Likelihood Of Wildfires In Kansas This Winter

extended_outlook_WildlandFire_Potential.png
Predictive Service, National Interagency Fire Center
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For the third straight year, Kansans can expect a higher than average danger for wildland fire. 

Kansas Forest Service meteorologist Chip Redmond says a wet spring is the main factor for why forecasters are predicting an increased likelihood of wildfires this winter. He says some areas of southern Kansas saw more than 150 percent of normal precipitation.

“So that set the premise for excessive fuel growth, especially the grasses,” he says.

Extra growth, coupled with a very dry November and December, greatly increases the chance for severe fires, like the Starbuck fire that burned roughly 500,000 acres in Kansas earlier this year.

“We’re looking at fires that last multiple burn periods and possibly multiple days,” Redmond says.

The outlook means people should be extra careful with their fires and should look at the wind and rain forecasts before undertaking any burns.

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Follow Brian Grimmett on Twitter @briangrimmett.

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