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Governor Kelly Issues Disaster Declaration For Wildland Fire Threat

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Governor Laura Kelly has issued a state of disaster emergency declaration for several western Kansas counties due to an increased risk of wildland fires. The Governor issued the declaration in order to coordinate state personnel and assets to assist local authorities if needed. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is monitoring the situation and will coordinate response efforts from the State Emergency Operations Center.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for counties along the Kansas-Colorado border due to a combination of dry conditions, high temperatures, low relative humidity and gusty winds, which significantly elevate the threat of wildland fires.

The counties named in the declaration are Cheyenne, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Logan, Morton, Scott, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wallace and Wichita. Other counties may be added later if warranted.

“Conditions across Kansas are prime for wildland fires with areas experiencing hot, dry conditions,” Kelly said. “This declaration will allow the state to use whatever resources we have available to mitigate the risks and respond to fires, should they occur, in support of local emergency responders.”

The Kansas National Guard will preposition UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters equipped with 660-gallon collapsible water buckets. The Kansas Forest Service is coordinating the use of the tanker and agriculture pilots in case they are needed.

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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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