Barber County

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Two weeks ago, a massive wildfire spread into Kansas from northern Oklahoma. It left behind more than 600 square miles of blackened land in its wake.

Responders from dozens of state and local agencies battled the fire as it burned out of control for several days. Many of the emergency responders in Barber County, Kansas, were volunteers who were trying to protect their own homes, those of their neighbors, and their herds of cattle. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur toured some of the damage with a man who’s been fighting Kansas wildfires for 25 years.

Courtesy Gimmie Jo Jansonius

Forestry officials report the wildfire in southern Kansas is now 95 percent contained, and crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire line, looking for hot spots.

Farmers and ranchers in Barber County are starting to assess the extensive damage to their land, livelihood and the community.