Wind Driven Fires Spring Up Across Western And Central Kansas


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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.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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