Pictured: Grass fire burning on Monday, March 6 near Wilson courtesy Kansas Hwy. Patrol
Fire crews throughout western Kansas battled fires in the extremely windy conditions present on Monday. The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) reported that the wind also caused at least four semis to be blown over on Interstate 70 between Colby and Grainfield.
U.S. 24 was closed between K-258 and Stockton due to a grass fire in the area. The roadway was later re-opened.
Multiple agencies were fighting fires near Damar, Stockton, Brownell, Ransom, Cheyenne County and Lake Wilson as of late Monday afternoon. Also Monday afternoon, a fire started in the location of 130 & P Roads north of Smith Center. Six fire departments responded. The fire is believed to have started on an electrical pole and ultimately led to a ground fire.
Residents of Wilson were being evacuated late Monday afternoon as well, KHP Trooper Ben Gardner reported. The KHP also reported closing a portion of I-70 and the Wilson exit after the fire near Wilson jumped into the median.
Areas of Rice County were also battling fires while in Reno County some residents were evacuated in areas on the north end of the city as well as in the Highlands Country Club area just a few miles north of town.
Most counties in our area and to areas west have burn bans in effect. Please take special precautions when using equipment or other potential fire starters.