Officials are warning that 2018 could be another bad year for wildfires in Kansas.
The central and southern Plains, including western and southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma and most of Texas, face an elevated threat of wildfires through April. The prediction comes from Kansas State University scientists and a government organization that assesses risks.
The warning comes after back-to-back years of the worst wildfires in Kansas history. The fires burned thousands of acres and destroyed homes, cattle, fences and power lines. More than 700,000 acres burned in more than 20 counties last March.
Heavy rain from April through September last year prompted heavy growth of brush and grass, resulting in “large to significant fuel loads” across the region, said Chip Redmond, a meteorologist with Kansas State University. Abnormally dry weather west of Wichita over the past three months is depleting any remaining moisture and drying out the grass according to Redmondd