More suspicious fires in Ellis County

ELLIS COUNTY, Kan. — Four more suspicious fires happened Wednesday night in Ellis County, all within five miles of each other and set withing 15 minutes.

All four are suspected cases of arson, putting the count up to 24 fires total.

“Yeah there’s going to be concern with these fires out there, I don’t know if they’re any more overly concerned since they first started, but I defiantly think that there is the desire for this to end,” said Det. Brad Ricke, Ellis County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department says that they have gotten a lot of leads but they haven’t narrowed down what they are looking for.

“Just be vigilant, anything that looks out of the ordinary or presents a red flag,” said Ricke. “Don’t not call us because you saw a pickup truck and you think that we’re looking for a car, the fact is that we want the description of the pickup and the car.”

All twenty four of the fires were started in ditches including one that burned a total of 60 acres.

“It does appear suspicious in nature due to the time frame and the fact that they were so close,” said Ricke.

Officials and citizens in Ellis County are just hoping that the arsons end soon before a house catches fire.

“Even if he sets a grass fire, the conditions in Kansas can change real quick and it could be burning through the southwest or whatever and the winds change and we could sometime lose a home or something, that’s what I’m worried about. Or my firefighters getting injured,” said Dick Klaus, Ellis County Rural Fire Chief.

A reward of $2,500 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. Anyone with information should call the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department at (785) 625-1040.

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