Sheriff reports suspect in NW Kansas fires

Fire (KSN File Photo)
Fire (KSN File Photo)

HAYS, Kansas (AP) — A northwest Kansas sheriff says investigators have identified a “strong suspect” in a rash of arson fires that scorched grassland and outbuildings.

KAYS-AM reports Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin said Tuesday authorities are waiting for lab results that could connect the person to the fires.

The 20 fires in rural Ellis County began March 6 and continued for 10 days.

The largest burned nearly 1,200 acres in the northwestern part of the county.

The arsonist apparently worked quickly, at one point setting 10 fires in less than three hours. Most of the damage was to grassland, but trees, sheds, an old granary and a horse trailer were also burned.

Harbin says his office continues to receive and investigate tips from the public. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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