Category Archives: Fire danger

Wednesday’s fire threat

The National Weather Service has produced a graphic depicting the area with the highest fire threat for Wednesday. As you can see, it stretches through the heart of Kansas.

040914firegraphic

Red flag warning extended in Kansas

The red flag warning has been extended to 8 p.m. today in south-central Kansas as fierce south winds continue to blast the Sunflower State.

More than 60 Kansas counties are now in a red flag warning, which means a critical fire danger exists or soon will exist because of strong winds, low humidity and abundant fuel sources. Wichita has recorded maximum wind gusts of 48 miles an hour so far this afternoon, weather service meteorologist Jerilyn Billings said, with sustained winds of 37 mph.

Red flag warning issued for Wichita area

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for all of southeast and portions of central Kansas today, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

The warning covers all 26 counties in the Wichita branch’s coverage area and extends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A red flag warning means critical fire conditions exist or will shortly. Strong south-southwest winds blowing steadily at more than 30 miles an hour and gusting to more than 40 miles an hour mean any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and quickly become dangerous.

Outdoor burning is not recommended, the weather service’s warning statement reports.

Extreme fire danger today in much of Kansas, including Wichita area

A red flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for much of northcentral, central and southeast Kansas until 5 p.m. today.

Gusty west to northwest winds will combine with low relative humidities to produce extreme fire danger this afternoon. More than 45 counties are covered by the red flag warning, which is issued whenever the threat of dangerous grass fires reaches an extreme level.

“Any fire which starts would spread rapidly and be very difficult to extinguish,” a statement issued by the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service reports. “Conditions are expected to improve by late afternoon as winds diminish.”

West winds will be steady between 15 and 25 miles an hour, the weather service reports, with gusts reaching 35 mph.

Red Flag warning for Wichita area this afternoon and tonight

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for five counties in central and south-central Kansas, including Sedgwick, Harvey and Sumner.

The warning will extend from noon to 8 p.m. today. Also in the warning are McPherson and Saline counties.

“Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and become very difficult to control,” a weather service statement said. “Outdoor burning is not recommended.”

South winds will gust to near 40 miles an hour today, and combined with warm temperatures and relative humidities of about 30 percent will create dangerous conditions for fires.

Fire weather watch today for Wichita area

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for 13 counties in southern Kansas this afternoon and evening, including the Wichita area.

The watch takes effect at 1 p.m., as south winds are expected to gust up to 35 miles an hour on a warm, dry day. A fire weather watch is one step below a red flag warning, which means the fire danger is critical and any fires will spread furiously and burn intensely.

A Red Flag warning has been issued for this afternoon and evening in 14 counties of north-central Kansas, along and west of U.S. 75. The Red Flag warning could be extended south into the Wichita area if conditions worsen, weather officials say.

Counties included in the fire weather watch are Russell, Lincoln, Barton, Ellsworth, Saline, Rice, McPherson, Reno, Harvey, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harper and Sumner.

Red flag counties are Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Pottawatomie, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee and Lyon.

Red Flag warning later today for Wichita and much of Kansas

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning this afternoon for Wichita and all of central and western Kansas as gusty winds and dry vegetation set the stage for “critical fire weather conditions.”

The warning is in effect from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, as south winds are expected to gust to about 30 miles an hour. Low humidity and dry vegetation are combining with gusty south winds to make the next couple of days especially vulnerable to large, rapidly spreading fires, weather service meteorologist Brad Ketcham said.

“No tossing of cigarette butts out on the ground today,” Ketcham said. “It’s kind of an early start to the fire season. That starts to happen, normally, in the late fall. But because we’re so dry…it’s going to come a little early this year.”

Today will be the 16th straight day without rain in Wichita, records show. Less than an inch of rain fell in the city in all of September. The .98 recorded was far below the September average of 3.14 inches for the city, records show.

For the year, Wichita has only had 17.22 inches of rain, which Ketcham said is more than 10 inches below normal for this time of year.

The red flag warning is expected to be re-issued for much of the state Wednesday as well.