February 18, 2014
Kansas Forest Service reminds residents to observe Wildfire Awareness Week
Kansas Gov. Brownback has issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 16-22 as Wildfire Awareness Week.
According to the governor's proclamation, Kansas fire departments responded to more than 3,200 vegetation fires that resulted in six injuries and more than $4.2 million in property loss and damage in 2013.
It is easy to dismiss the importance of wildfire safety with snow still on the ground, but the amount of moisture in the snow is minimal. Kansas has already had several severe wildfires and after the snow melts the fuels will dry quickly.
The Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and the Kansas Forest Service encourage all residents to follow the guidelines for outside burning as described in Kansas Administrative Regulation 28-19-645.
As we move into spring fire season, it is good to keep a few things in mind:
- consider maintaining a defensible space around your homes using appropriate landscaping and building materials;
- exercise care when burning outdoors;
- refrain from dangerous and unlawful use of firework; and
- report all suspicious fire and smoke.
You can check the local National Weather Service fire weather page for fire weather alerts and warnings. Preparation is crucial in preventing loss from wildfires and all Kansans share the responsibility for that preparation.