Local KSN News
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Extreme Kansas winds have sparked fires, sent trampolines flying and turned garbage cans upside down.
“March is supposed to be kite-flying weather, though, and I don’t think I could hang on to a kite in this wind,” said Wichita resident Kim Lester.
KSN wanted to know what it’s like to work outside in the windy conditions.
“It’s pretty tough some days, but it’s part of the job so we just gotta do it,” said United States Postal Service worker Robert Reyes.
Reyes has worked as a letter carrier in Wichita for 19 years. He said he’s worked in the wind, the cold, the snow and the heat.
“We get all four seasons here,” Reyes laughed.
KSN followed Reyes on part of his walking route on Tuesday. Like any other day, Reyes parked his truck walked from home-to-home delivering people’s mail.
“Usually when it’s this windy I’m holding on pretty tight, so I haven’t really dropped it and had to chase it too far,” he said.
However, Reyes admitted he has dropped some mail before.
“Sometimes when you open the cluster boxes the wind will suck the mail out real quick and then you’re kind of chasing mail,” Reyes said.
The wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph on Tuesday. Reyes said however, the howling winds won’t stop him from doing his job and doing it on time.
“Every once in a while I’ve just got to scrunch my hat down a little tighter and keep going,” he said. “It’s part of the job, so we just gotta do it.”
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Fires blazed throughout Kansas Tuesday afternoon burning more then 5,000 acres of soil. KSN started the morning in Reno County, speaking with those who helped clean up their community exactly 1 year ago, when a small grass fire turned massive; ripping through most of North Hutchinson. However, as soon as we arrived to Hutch fire station, crews were running out of the door, to tend to a grass fire in Haven.
“I don’t think you’ll talk to a firefighter in the state of Kansas that hasn’t been on edge all week,” said Hutchinson’s Deputy Fire Chief, Doug Hanen.
Chief Hanen says this fire and one other, started around 10:30 this morning.
“Those strong winds knocked down a power-line and caught fire on the grass,” he explained.
Reno County residents stood by and watched as fire crews worked to control the fire but one Haven resident that lives less that a mile from the action said, this time it was too close to home.
“I remember the fires last year,” said Delmer Fritz. “They were terrible but they were also on the other side of town so when I woke up to sirens this morning it made me really nervous. Our home is surrounded with dry grass.”
Fritz says he remembers the homes that went up in flames last year and says he hopes the fires don’t claim his home this year.
“It can happen really fast,” said Fritz. It’d wipe us out and there’s no way to stop it. I was lucky the fire was going the other way and also that the river was there to stop it.”
Hutchinson’s fire chief says Kansas need to be extra cautious around this time of year.
“If they got welding and grinding to do outside, pick another day,” said Hanen. “If they absolutely have to, have somebody with you, have a plan; buckets of water, hoses, fire extinguishers, because these things can get out of hand very very quickly.”
KSN will continue to track fire activity and update live via twitter and Facebook.
Winds today have been worse! And because of this, it has made more than 40 grass fires across Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska hard for firefighters to contain. Winds have been gusting between 40 and 60 MPH!
We will get some help from nature later this evening. As a storm system moves away from us, the winds will start to lighten up considerably as we head through the overnight.
Tomorrow, there will still be a slight breeze in central and eastern Kansas, but it’s a calm one compared to where we have been today. Temperatures will take a slight dip.
By the end of the work week, the winds will return to the south. This means warmer temperatures.
However, we won’t have a chance for any rain until Saturday. This means our fire threat will become elevated again.
As for that chance for rain — it’s still not impressive. Join me tonight on KSN News for a look at who may see a raindrop or two and if there are any other chances that will help our drought. – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman
SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – As Mickie Hale drove to work, she saw a small fire. It wasn’t much, but the blaze east of Lake Afton quickly covered hundreds of acres.
“I just saw it I turned left to come up here to see where it was at and by the time I turned around it had already went through the whole field, jumped the road,” says Hale. “I pounded on one house but they didn’t answer.”
Hale went door-to-door telling people to get to safety. She also says it only took a few minutes for fire crews to get to the scene.
Fire crews say the fire outside Lake Afton was one of so many that has been stretching firefighter resources across the area.
“As far as resources today, with this high wind,and the fire started , we have multiple agencies out here that began,” says Larry Tangney, Deputy Chief of Operations for Sedgwick County Fire District #1. “Mutual aid with other agencies is so important. Especially now.”
Sedgwick County joined Cheney, Goddard and several other departments at the Lake Afton Fire. It’s a fire that threatened several homes, but did not burn any homes.
While some buildings and cars were lost, nobody was hurt and the homes were saved. Fire crews contained the fire in the afternoon, but continued to hit sporadic hot spots that continued to crop up over the length of a mile.
“As far as work crews…Today we brought in extra. We are staffing three extra crews today to help out. I know other local jurisdictions are doing the same thing because of the high winds. And resources are really stretched today,” said Tangney. “And we get in these small little canyons and debits where the fire can hold. And then the wind, we think the wind if out of the North all the time and we get down in here and it’s twirling around and it will expose other areas that maybe we don’t think it’s going to be exposed at that time.”
Fire Crews say the fire east of Lake Afton will continue to be monitored, but it is under control.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The mother of Andrew Finch, the man killed by Wichita police in December after an alleged swatting call, is demanding an independent investigation be completed.
Lisa Finch spoke outside of the city council meeting Tuesday morning. She thanked the public for their support and called for justice for her son.
“If this is an investigation, why are they not speaking to us, the witnesses, the people this affected the most?” asked Lisa Finch.
“I don’t have any reason to doubt our district attorney will do a fair and full investigation,” added Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.
City council member Brandon Johnson says he supports an outside investigation. As for the lawsuit filed by the Finch family against the city of Wichita, the city has until Friday to respond. Mayor Longwell says he has not seen the lawsuit and will not comment on pending litigation.
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – House leaders unveiled a comprehensive school safety plan Tuesday.
The plan comes almost a month after 17 students were gunned down at a Florida high school.
The proposal known as the Kansas Safe and Secure Schools Act would create statewide guidelines for what is considered safe and secure when it comes to school building.
Under the plan, the state would create a $5 million grant program which the 286 districts across the state would apply to. The Department of Education would then determine how much money each school district would receive from the grant based on the district’s needs. The money would be used for updating security, like adding cameras around school building, and for training drills.
“We want our schools to be ready for incidents that may happen and without training and proper devices and facilities they won’t be able to do that,” said State Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka.
Under the proposal, gun safety education programs would also be offered. However, it would be up to each district what education program would be used, meaning the districts wouldn’t have to use the Eddie the Eagle program.
“It would also include any other evidence-based curriculum that they wanted to put in there instead of those programs,” explained State Rep. Eric Smith, R-Burlington.
Democratic leaders said while the plan is a step in the right direction they need more details.
“The idea that we are going to present a real gun safety plan rather than the silly one they had earlier this year is really good news,” said House Minority Leader Jim Ward.
House leaders explained the money for the grant program would be added to the state budget, which has not been finalized.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – PETA is offering a $5,000 reward to find those responsible for gluing a dog’s eyes and mouth shut and abandoning the animal.
The brown-and-white Jack/Parson Russell terrier mix on the side of the road in Oaklawn.
The dog’s eyes had been glued shut with superglue, and her tongue had been glued to the side of her mouth, so she was unable to see, eat, or drink.
The dog is currently receiving veterinary care, but law-enforcement officials have yet to determine who is responsible for the cruel act.
A pair of high-scoring guards who also share the ball with their teammates highlight The Associated Press All-Big 12 men’s basketball team.
Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham and Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young, the league’s top two in both scoring and assists, were the only unanimous picks on the AP All-Big 12 first team released Tuesday. They also took the top individual awards.
Graham was named the Big 12 player of the year with his 17.6 points and 7.2 assists per game while helping lead the Jayhawks win their record 14th consecutive conference title this season. He ranked second in the league in both categories behind top Big 12 newcomer Young, the national leader with 27.5 points and 8.9 assists per game .
Kansas’ Bill Self took his fourth consecutive coach of the year honor, and seventh in 13 seasons.
Texas Tech senior Keenan Evans, West Virginia senior Jevon Carter and Texas freshman post player Mohamed Bamba were the other first-team picks in voting by a panel of 18 journalists who regularly cover the Big 12 in the league’s five states. Bamba is the Big 12 rebounding leader with 10.6 per game.
Graham got nine of 18 votes for player of the year, while Young got seven and Evans two. Young was listed as top newcomer on 14 ballots, including five that also had him as the top overall player.
Self got 10 votes for top coach, while Chris Beard of Big 12 runner-up Texas Tech got seven. The remaining vote went to first-year Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton after the Cowboys became the first team with a regular season sweep of a Self-coached Kansas team.
The 2018 AP All-Big 12 team, with players listed with school, classification, height, weight, class and hometown (“u-” denotes unanimous selections):
u-Devonte’ Graham, Kansas, Sr., 6-2, 185, Raleigh, North Carolina.
u-Trae Young, Oklahoma, Fr., 6-2, 180, Norman, Oklahoma.
Mohamed Bamba, Texas, Fr., 6-11, 225, Harlem, New York.
Jevon Carter, West Virginia, Sr., 6-2, 205, Maywood, Illinois.
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech, Sr., 6-3, 190, Richardson, Texas.
Udoka Azubuike, Kansas, So., 7-0, 280, Delta, Nigeria.
Barry Brown Jr., Kansas State, 6-3, 195, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas, Sr., 6-8, 205, Cherkasy, Ukraine.
Dean Wade, Kansas State, Jr., 6-10, 228, St. John, Kansas.
Kenrich Williams, TCU, Sr., 6-7, 210, Waco, Texas.
Vladimir Brodziansky, TCU; Jeffrey Carroll, Oklahoma State; Sagaba Konate, West Virginia; Manu Lecomte, Baylor; Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., Baylor; Malik Newman, Kansas; Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech; Mitchell Solomon, Oklahoma State; Lindell Wigginton, Iowa State.
Coach of the year — Bill Self, Kansas.
Player of the year — Devonte’ Graham, Kansas.
Newcomer of the year — Trae Young, Oklahoma.
AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel: Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman; Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Paul Catalina, ESPN Central Texas; Mark Cooper, Tulsa World; Brian Davis, Austin American-Statesman; Matt Galloway, Topeka Capital-Journal; Justin Jackson, The Dominion Post; Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World; Kevin Lyttle, Austin American-Statesman; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Soren Petro, Sports Radio 810; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Nathan Ruiz, The Oklahoman; Carlos Silva Jr., Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; Cody Stavenhagen, Tulsa World; Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette-Mail; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald.
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed I-70 from Goodland to Colby due to reduced visibility from blowing dirt.
K-25 south of Colby to US-40 in Logan County is also closed due to reduced visibility.
K-25 closed south of Colby to US-40 in Logan County due to reduced visibility caused by blowing dust.
— NWKansasKDOT (@NWKansasKDOT) March 6, 2018
K-25 closed south of Colby to US-40 in Logan County due to reduced visibility caused by blowing dust.
— NWKansasKDOT (@NWKansasKDOT) March 6, 2018
The National Weather Service says gusts of up to 55 mph are expected across the western and central part of the state Tuesday.
GREENSBURG, Kan. (KSNW) – High wind caused a semi to overturn in Kiowa County. It happened about five miles west of Greensburg on U.S. 54 around 10:45 a.m.
Rosa Spainhour, Director of EMS in Kiowa County, sent KSN News photos of the semi. There are no injuries. The semi is still currently in the road.
The National Weather Service says gusts of up to 55 mph are expected across the western and central part of the state Tuesday.
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) – A man charged with killing an Indian tech worker and wounding two other people in what federal prosecutors have dubbed a hate crime is due in a suburban Kansas City court for a plea hearing.
Fifty-two-year-old Adam Purinton, of Olathe, Kansas, faces first-degree murder and other charges in the February 2017 shooting at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe. Witnesses said Purinton, who is white, yelled racial slurs before he fatally shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded Alok Madasani. A third man, Ian Grillot, was wounded when he tried to intervene.
Kuchibhotla and Madasani were engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.
After the shooting, Purinton drove to a restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where a bartender called police after Purinton allegedly told him about the shooting.
Purinton also faces federal hate crime charges.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Forecasters are warning of an extreme risk of out-of-control fires across much of the state because of dry conditions and strong winds.
The National Weather Service says gusts of up to 55 mph are expected across the western and central part of the state Tuesday. Fire officials classified the grassland fire danger in central, south-central and southeast Kansas as extreme to catastrophic. The only areas where red flag fire warnings haven’t been issued are in northeast and far north-central.
A few fires already have been reported. In southwest Kansas, a wildfire in Clark County burned at least 1,600 acres Monday, and 10,000 hay bales burned Sunday in Stevens County.
Meteorologist Eric Schminke says that if the public heeds the warnings, the fires shouldn’t be as bad as last year’s record-setter.
NEW YORK (AP) — Target’s reinvention plan is driving more people to its stores and its website, where they are spending more for everything from fashion to towels. But the cost of such a massive overhaul is extensive, and it took some of the shine off a strong quarter of sales.
The Minneapolis retailer reported better-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter, which includes the critical holiday period. But those healthy sales were overshadowed by muted earnings and a conservative profit outlook.
In the race to modernize, Target’s profit margins are under significant pressure. The bottom lines of traditional retailers are getting bruised trying to hold Amazon.com at bay. Late last month, Walmart reported weak fourth-quarter profits as it stumbled with e-commerce sales during the busiest time of the year.
But whereas Walmart shares suffered their largest one-day percentage drop, an early sell-off in Target on Tuesday began to ease right before the opening bell, suggesting that the traditionally irascible Wall Street may be giving the retailer what it needs most: more time.
More important is winning back customers. Amazon has created fierce loyalty among shoppers who spend $99 for a membership that comes with free shipping, as well as streaming movies and music. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market last year is also raising the stakes in the grocery business. It recently announced two-hour Whole Foods delivery for Prime members.
Target pledged last year to invest more than $7 billion to modernize over the next three years. That includes remodeling old stores, opening small locations in cities and college towns and faster online delivery. Late last year, the company said it was accelerating plans to remodel more than half of its 1,800 stores by 2020.
It recently acquired the startup Shipt, which will mean same-day delivery from about half of its stores early this year. It’s also testing store-curb pickup for online grocery shopping, and Target is expanding next-day delivery for some products nationwide by the end of this year.
Among the notable costs for Target is its decision to raise its minimum hourly wage for its workers to $11 late last year. That jumps to $15 by the end of 2020. It’s part of the company’s ambition to elevate the experience of customers.
Investors are eager to hear more Tuesday during the company’s annual meeting at its headquarters.
Seth Sigman, an analyst at Credit-Suisse, expects to hear more about how Target will offset rising costs.
“Our fourth quarter results demonstrate the power of the significant investments we’ve made in our team and our business throughout 2017,” said CEO Brian Cornell in a company release.
Target had a profit of $1.1 billion, or $2.02 per share. That compares with $817 million, or $1.45 per share, in the year-ago period.
Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.37 per share, which is 2 cents short of analyst projections, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Revenue rose 10 percent to $22.77 billion, edging out expectations for $22.46 billion.
Target reported a 3.6 percent increase in revenue at stores opened at least a year. That beat estimates of a 3.1 percent gain, according to FactSet.
Customer traffic rose 3.2 percent and online sales jumped 29 percent.
The company logged healthy sales growth in all five of its merchandising areas, including fashion and home furnishings.
Target expects its per-share earnings this quarter to range from $1.25 to $1.45. Analysts expect $1.40.
Full-year earnings are projected in the range of $5.15 to $5.45 per share, versus Wall Street expectations for $5.21.
Shares of Target Corp., which had fallen close to 5 percent in early trading, were down a little more than 2 percent, or $1.50, to $73.64 right after the opening bell Tuesday.
Elements of the story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on TGT at https://www.zacks.com/ap/TGT
Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A conservative official’s claim that scores of noncitizens are voting in Kansas will be put on trial Tuesday in a legal challenge to a law requiring people to show proof of citizenship to register to vote in the state.
At issue in the bench trial unfolding in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, is the fate of a law championed by Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach requiring people to provide citizenship documents such as a birth certificate, naturalization papers or passport when they register.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson must decide whether Kobach has legal authority to demand such paperwork for people who register at motor vehicle offices. If he’s to win, Kobach will need to show that Kansas has a significant problem of noncitizens registering to vote.
Kobach, the vice chairman of President Donald Trump’s recently disbanded commission on election fraud, argues the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud and says even a small number of noncitizens voting could sway a close election. Critics say incidents of noncitizens registering to vote are extremely rare and argue that such Republican-backed laws hurt voter registration efforts and disenfranchise minorities and college students who may not have the documentation readily available.
Kansas has about 1.8 million registered voters. Kobach has told the court he has been able to document a total of 127 noncitizens who at least tried to register to vote since 2000. Forty-three of them were successful in registering, he says, and 11 voted.
The law in question went into effect in 2013. In its first three years, about one in seven voter registration applications in Kansas were blocked for lack of proof of citizenship — with nearly half for people under the age of 30, according to court filings.
Robinson in May 2016 temporarily blocked the law’s implementation for people who register at driver licensing offices, a ruling that was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today’s forecast looks like a carbon copy of yesterday. Intense winds and high fire danger.
Red flag warnings have been posted for most of Kansas and Oklahoma.
We saw what happened near Ashland yesterday. If a grass fire sparks, it will spread quickly and get out of control. This is the case today with gusts up to 60 MPH. If you must smoke, please properly dispose your cigarette butts. This is a serious warning, people’s lives are at risk every time you light up and carelessly throw a cigarette out.
No meaningful rain or snow chances through the end of the week. Rain is posted for Saturday in central Kansas although those chances look pitiful. It doesn’t look like this dry pattern will change anytime soon.
I’ll be tracking the intense winds all morning long on KSN News. Make sure to join Katie, Darren, and Laura on Kansas Today from 4:30-7 a.m. and again, on KSN News at Noon. – Laura Bannon
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At 17-years-old, most teens are worried about their homework, texting their friends, or maybe getting ready for prom. But, one Wichita teen has bigger things to do, she’s on a mission to help children in a Third World country
That’s why Chenyu Yi is our KSN News 3 Hometown Hero. Chenyu is a junior at Wichita’s Independent school, an international student from China.
Like many teens, after graduation she wants to go to college. But, her big goal is to build a school on the other side of the world in Nepal.
Some might call it a coincidence but Chenyu Yi calls it a fateful moment when she was cruising around the internet.
“There was one day, a picture came through on my laptop about children in Nepal,” said Yi
At that very moment, she got inspired to help children in Nepal by building them a new school and library.
“So, it came to me that if I have the ability, if I could help them, then I would do that.”
Chenyu said her parents had barely anytime to learn what she was doing.
“But, I didn’t tell them before the week I left. So, they had no idea about it.”
So with their blessing, but, no real plan, Chenyu jumped on a plane bound for Katmandu to meet up with her cousin.
“I have been thinking about helping others for a long time.”
They met a stranger who told them the children in his mother’s village needed a school. She saw her opportunity.
“I truly think with education with appropriate education they could get a better future for themselves.”
So, they jumped on motorcycles and made the four-hour trip to the remote village.
“I actually, like theday I got there I kind of wanted to cry.”
Chenyu says it was the first time the villagers had seen people from the outside world.
Their school was not great.
“So, it’s basically a room, there’s no chairs, there’s no blackboards.”
Chenyu got the villagers to buy into her plan, to transform this building into a real school.
“The first floor will be books and reading areas and maybe 2 or 3 computers with a teacher room.”
So far, she’s raised over $30,000 to pay for the school from her Go Fund Me page. Now, she’s working on getting building supplies, workers, and teachers. “Because, I don’t want to leave it alone, since it’s my project I want to keep it, see it start to end beautifully.”
No matter how long it takes, this Hometown Hero won’t stop until her dream comes true. According to Chenyu getting those building supplies to the village won’t be easy. She hopes to use cars and motorcycles to do it.
If you would like to donate to the project we have a link to Chenyu’s Go Fund Me page
If you know a Hometown Hero in your community we’d love to hear about them. Send your nominations to email@example.com.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The family of Evan Brewer is demanding change after DCF admitted to mishandling the toddlers case, before he died. On Friday KSN received documents from DCF about Evan’s case. The documents showed that DCF recieved multiple reports of abuse and neglect towards Evan, dating back more than a year before his body was found encased in concrete.
“It’s easy for a dad to say, if something happened to my kid I would just kick the door in and go get him,” explained Evan’s dad, Carlo Brewer. “That was the situation I was in and if I would have done that I would have ended up in jail or loosing my other children.”
Today Evan’s father spoke with KSN about fight to try to save his sons life.
“We took every approach that you’re supposed to take,” he said. “We made calls, filed reports; we even camped out outside of the home.”
Now, Brewer says his mission is to help other families navigate through the system.
“The idea really began while sitting outside of that house waiting to see my son – we didn’t know what we could do next,” he said. “I feel like Evan’s Safe Haven is the ears that will listen to people. We can be the voice for the children.”
Brewer says this nonprofit is for all the children who get lost in the system.
“We have the right to protect our children and I feel this will help parents who were like me and didn’t know what to do,” said Brewer.
For more on Evan’s Safe Haven you can visit their Facebook page.
Wichita, Kan. (KSNW) – If you are outside and find a tornado is near, you likely will hear emergency sirens sounding. But, if you are inside, you may not hear therm. That’s why KSN has a weather app to keep you alert and aware.
And while KSN will be here for severe weather tips, there are some things to also avoid if you find yourself outside during a tornado event.
KSN Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman says, for years, Kansans have been told to get into a ditch if there is no shelter near. But, Teachman says, a ditch is not always an ideal option.
“If all else fails and you have to go into a ditch, go as far away from your car as possible,” explains Teachman. “Lay flat and protect your head, but then, watch for rising water.”
Teachman says cars have flipped before, killing people who were taking shelter in a ditch. And flash flooding can happen, fast.
Another outdoor concern is overpasses. A KSN News crew aired a video in April of 1991, that showed several people taking shelter on the Kansas Turnpike by getting up and underneath the girders of an overpass. The people in that situation made it through the tornado without injury, but Teachman says research has shown hiding under an overpass is not a good idea.
“Please do not seek shelter underneath an overpass, it will just serve as a wind tunnel,” explains Teachman. And, she adds, the consequences can be deadly. “We’ve observed in several previous tornadoes people leaving their homes seeking shelter underneath overpasses, only to be sucked out and later found dead.”
Teachman adds it is not advised to try to outrun a tornado, but says you can turn at right angles away from a tornado to try to get clear.
Emergency managers say it’s best to keep in mind Kansas weather events can happen quickly, and it’s best to be aware of your surroundings. That includes knowing where an emergency shelter is located when you are outside. And take shelter in as secure a location as you can find.
“Hopefully they’ve got a basement,” says Interim Sedgwick County Emergency Manager, Cody Charvat. “If not, it needs to be a room on the lowest level of their home interior so there’s no windows we have to worry about collapsing.”
Teachman says the KSN Weather App is a great resource to stay alert, and says KSN will continue to be Here For You when weather breaks.
KSN will continue to bring you stories to keep you weather-aware all week.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The catastrophic fire danger across much of the state has fire and emergency crews doing what they can to be prepared, in case a large scale fire breaks out.
Chief Scott Metzler with Newton Fire/EMS says they inspect there trucks daily, to make sure they have all the right tools to fight a fire.
He says they have 52 firefighters, which includes 15 line firefighters at any given time.
“Over the last week, we’ve had certainly an uptick in fire events, so, normally structure fires, as well as, the grassland fires,” said Chief Metzler.
Chief Metzler says they’ve made sure to make the necessary preparations, in case they are out on a fire for a long period of time.
“Our preparedness includes making sure that our equipment is ready to go, more importantly it’s making sure our people are ready for the rigors of prolonged firefighting in these kinds of conditions,” said Chief Metzler.
The high fire danger has also gotten the attention of the American Red Cross.
Jennifer Sanders, the Executive Director of the South Central and Southeast chapter here in Kansas says they started preparing last Thursday.
“We have trailers pre-deployed and pre-positioned around the state, so checking inventory levels of all the supplies in those trailers as well,” said Sanders.
Sanders says when it comes to personnel, they have crews ready, if needed.
“We have our feeding teams on standby, our disaster action team is on standby, our emergency response vehicles are all on standby as well,” said Sanders.
Both Sanders and Chief Metzler agree, you can never be too prepared.
“Preparation is key as is situational awareness,” said Chief Metzler.
While fire crews in Newton are prepared to fight a fire, Chief Metzler urges the public to be on the lookout for fires as well.
He says if you see smoke, or see something on fire, please call 911.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The latest government report shows the deteriorating condition of the Kansas winter wheat crop amid the ongoing parched weather.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 50 percent of the state’s wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition. The remaining crop was rated as 37 percent fair, 12 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
Topsoil moisture supplies are rated as short or very short across 76 percent of Kansas.