High wind advisories over, but fire risk remains

Windy conditions didn't materialize as expected across east central Kansas on Tuesday. They did so Thursday with red flag warnings and wind advisories for much of Kansas.

Emporia Fire Marshal Reason Bradford says the fire danger may decrease somewhat as the wind speeds gradually settle down over the coming days. However, dry conditions and a heavy fuel load after significant rainfall late last summer will keep the fire risk elevated until we see widespread moisture.

Bradford says you should always be around any controlled burn and make sure you have the necessary equipment to fight a fire if needed.

Our current dry spell comes well before the peak of the grass burning season later this winter, but it comes with Lyon County officials reminding residents about the start of the two-year burn permit cycle.

Permits are free and are effective for each individual requesting them, not for the properties affected. Residents need to heed all wind advisories and red flag warnings once they burn.

County residents do not have to get a permit with each burn, as was the case when permits were first introduced in 2006.

Permits are available at the County Courthouse, Sheriff's Office and at city clerk offices in Admire, Americus, Hartford, Olpe and Reading.

For information, call Emergency Management at 341-3210 or your local fire department.

7 pm Wednesday: Wind advisories issued

The National Weather Service offices in Topeka and Wichita have issued wind advisories covering much of the KVOE listening area. Lyon, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties are involved from 10 am to 7 pm, while Chase County is in a separate advisory from 11 am to 6 pm.

Winds could be 20 to 30 mph sustained. The Weather Service currently anticipates area wind gusts as high as 45 mph.

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