It might be early in the season, but given the climate crisis, wildfires have begun to ignite nationwide. Even during the late winter months, wildfires were scorching acres upon acres across the U.S. Now, wildfires have begun raging across Kansas, already burning hundreds of acres in their path.
According to KSN, there are currently eight individual fires burning across the central state. Below, we’ve listed the state and location of each of the ongoing blazes.
- Fire 1: Decatur County
As per the outlet, the first wildfire is currently burning in Decatur, Kansas near Clayton. The state of the blaze has forced local authorities to redirect traffic. The heaviest detours took place on Highway 383 near Seldon and the 83/383/23 junction on Wednesday. Authorities are sending eastbound traffic north to Oberlin, with only local traffic allowed to pass.
- Fire 2: Comanche County
The Comanche County, Kansas wildfire ignited on Wednesday, and currently, officials are unaware of the state of the blaze. The news outlet reports Comanche County Emergency Service do not know how widespread the fire has actually become. That said, the Kansas Forest Service has stepped in to aid firefighters in fighting the blaze.
- Fire 3: Grass Fire in Barber County
Deemed a “large” grass fire by KSN, the Barber County wildfire continues to burn at Gerlane and Hillside. Emergency personnel have requested locals to avoid the area and make way for responding units.
- Fires 4-7: Augusta Fire District
Seemingly the most destructive of the ongoing Kansas wildfires, blazes 4-7 forced Augusta Fire District to respond in multiple locations. The acreage loss as a result of these fires total 250 acres, and two outbuildings reportedly succumbed to the flames.
- Fire 8: Butler County
Status–contained; nearing residents evacuated early Wednesday, but authorities reported no damage.
Texas Wildfires Burn Out of Control
Kansas isn’t the only central U.S. state battling early spring wildfires. Further south, Texas governor Greg Abbot declared a state of disaster last week as wildfires across the Lonestar State burned out of control. Still, certain regions continue to endure Red Flag Warnings, a negative sign when it comes to wildfire management.
Last week, weather conditions made for poor wildfire management as warm temperatures, intense winds, and low humidity created the perfect scenario for blazes to spark.
While the Das Goat Fire, which ignited when a car caught fire in Medina County, TX has since been contained, it quickly spread and bowled over more than 1,000 acres. The blaze, and others like it, sent Red Flag Warnings popping up in numerous counties, many of those same warnings still in place as of Thursday.
KWTX reports that almost all of central Texas has an ongoing burn ban in place, with authorities warning Texans against all outdoor burning and welding, and asking smokers to refrain from discarding cigarette butts outside.