The fire danger remains extremely high across the KVOE listening area, although some weather conditions won't be quite as severe Tuesday as they were Monday.
Temperatures will be noticeably cooler and relative humidity levels will be up slightly, but wind speeds will still be 20-30 mph with gusts around 45 mph. With that in mind, the Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Chase and Greenwood counties from 9 am to 7 pm and an areawide wind advisory for the same time frame.
Emporia Fire Chief Jack Taylor says everybody needs to pay attention to the fire danger on days like this. Taylor added that everybody needs to take the utmost care with anything fire-related, including grilling, mowing, welding and discarding cigarettes.
Chase and Greenwood counties have automatic burn bans whenever red flag warnings go into effect. Elsewhere, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee County have already issued county-wide burn bans for Tuesday. Coffey County will review its situation later Tuesday morning.
Taylor says the city of Emporia is not issuing burn permits for residents through Tuesday. That situation will be revisited Wednesday.
Monday's fire activity was limited. One grass fire developed near Melvern and was eventually put out with the help of Melvern, Lyndon and Coffey County firefighters along with Osage County deputies. Here in Emporia, the wind also caused a rotting light pole to fall over at Santa Fe Trail Road and Tomahawk. No injuries were listed with either incident.
We'll keep you updated on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media.
10:30 am Monday: Emporia fire chief: Fire danger 'at a point I don't think I've seen' over past 17 years
Firefighters across Kansas are urging people to be careful with anything fire-related this week.
Emporia Fire Chief Jack Taylor says the fire danger Monday and Tuesday may be unprecedented in the nearly 18 years he has worked in town.
Red flag warnings are up for the entire area until Monday evening. This means all outdoor burns are banned in Lyon and surrounding counties while the warnings are in effect. Wind advisories are also up for the area both Monday and Tuesday with expected wind gusts as high as 45 mph:
*Lyon County: Through 6 pm Monday, from 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday
*Chase County: Through 6 pm Monday, from 9 am to 8 pm Tuesday
*Coffey County: From 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday
*Greenwood County: From 9 am to 8 pm Tuesday
*Morris County: Through 6 pm Monday, from 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday
*Osage County: From 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday
*Wabaunsee County: Through 6 pm Monday, from 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday
A fire weather watch, normally a precursor to a red flag warning, is now up for Chase and Greenwood counties for Tuesday.
Taylor says the city of Emporia is not issuing burn permits for residents through at least Tuesday. That situation will be revisited Wednesday.
Lyon and surrounding counties are mainly in moderate drought, save for the severe drought in southwest Chase County, and the next chance of rain is currently a small chance of showers on Saturday.
We'll keep you updated on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media.
6:30 am Monday: Red flag warnings, wind advisories now areawide Monday with risk of 'extreme fire behavior' across Kansas
The National Weather Service offices in Topeka and Wichita are alerting residents to critical fire danger to start the work week.
A red flag warning is now in effect for Lyon, Coffey, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties from 12-8 pm Monday. A separate red flag warning affects Chase and Greenwood counties from 11 am to 7 pm. Wind advisories also blanket our area both Monday and Tuesday.
Grasses have been dry since late October and early November, even with several rounds of light precipitation this winter. In addition, high temperatures approaching 60 degrees will combine with humidity levels below 20 percent and wind gusts as high as 40 mph to set the stage for "extreme fire behavior." TV-13 meteorologist Doug Meyers calls this a near-worst-case scenario for fire danger.
With the red flag warnings in place, all affected counties in the KVOE listening area are now under burn bans while those warnings are effective. Several counties -- Chase, Coffey, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee -- were already operating under county-wide burn bans on a daily basis the past few days.
Meteorologists have already said there could red flag warnings across much of Kansas on Tuesday as well, and a fire weather watch has been issued for Chase and Greenwood counties for potential fire activity Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening. Temperatures will be cooler, but relative humidity levels will remain low and westerly winds will again be as high as 40 mph. Wind gusts will likely be higher -- up to 60 mph -- further west.
Stay with KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media for the latest.
3 am Sunday: Burn bans, fire weather watches in place as fire danger intensifies Monday and Tuesday
No fires of any significance developed across the KVOE listening area Saturday. That's good news, because the fire danger doesn't back down much Sunday. The fire danger is set to intensify Monday and again Tuesday, based on the latest forecast.
The National Weather Service expects extreme fire danger Sunday virtually statewide, including Lyon and surrounding counties. Several county-wide burn bans are in place, including:
*Chase County until Monday morning
*Coffey County until Monday morning
*Morris County until Monday morning
*Osage County until Monday morning
*Wabaunsee County until Monday morning
Fire danger gets worse Monday as winds shift from south to west and pick up to at least 35 mph, and it possibly deteriorates further Tuesday with wind gusts as high as 40-50 mph across east central and central Kansas. The National Weather Service's Wichita office is mincing no words with the fire danger to start the work week, calling Monday's and Tuesday's conditions "extreme to catastrophic" for rapid fire growth.
A fire weather watch is already in effect for Chase and Greenwood counties from Monday morning to Monday evening. Lyon and other surrounding counties are in a separate fire weather watch for Monday afternoon and evening. Fire weather watches are typically precursors to red flag warnings, which signal fast fire growth and unstable movement. They also trigger automatic burn bans for any area county affected, including Lyon County, while the warning is in effect.
Along with the fire danger is an outside risk of a stronger storm Sunday evening, although it appears the better risk for stronger activity will be across eastern Nebraska and eastern Oklahoma. We still could see some small hail and gusty winds below 60 mph.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Kyle Poage says the strongest chance for severe weather would be early in the week.
The National Weather Service says the highest chance of thunderstorms in the area will be between 9 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday.
We'll keep you on top of both weather situations on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media.
9:45 am Saturday: Fire danger, marginal severe weather risk in place
A combination of weather conditions, both short-term and longstanding, will push the fire danger to near critical levels this weekend.
National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Poage tells KVOE News the fire danger will be higher Saturday, mainly because the humidity levels will be higher Sunday.
Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged, and Chase County remains in a burn ban until at least Monday morning. Osage County's burn ban enacted Friday has been extended until 8 am Sunday. Morris County has a burn ban in place until Sunday. Wabaunsee County, meanwhile, has a burn ban in place both Saturday and Sunday.
Once the fire danger dies down, there is a marginal risk of stronger thunderstorms Sunday evening just in time for Severe Weather Awareness Week, which officially begins Monday. Poage says the main concerns are hail up to the size of quarters and wind speeds approaching 60 mph, but any stronger cells will likely be isolated.
Unfortunately, the fire danger revs up again Monday with temperatures in the 50s and westerly winds as high as 35 mph. Outdoor burning will be strongly discouraged to start the work week.
We'll keep you updated on both weather situations this weekend on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media.