Unusually warm weather increases fire risk

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With the windy conditions, fire crews worked quickly to put out two separate grass fires Saturday afternoon.

The first was off of I-135 near Hydraulic.

Wichita Fire Battalion Chief Andy Cole says crews were able to get the fire under control in a matter of minutes.

A short while later, in the 700 block of N. Arapahoe, another grass fire broke out.

Cole says this fire was much smaller and crews again got it under control quickly.

Wichita isn’t in an official fire danger scenario, but Cole says the high winds have been a big enough concern.

“We’re always concerned when it’s real windy out, we could get a grass fire, the grass fire could spread very rapidly,” said Cole.

Cole says when the wind conditions get around 20 to 25 miles an hour, they start taking concern.

He says when it is windy, like it was on Saturday, they send additional crews to a fire to make sure they get control of it quickly.

“The wind is a very difficult factor for us when you’re dealing with grass fires, they spread so rapidly, plus if they get near a home or any kind of wood and such, they can spread very rapidly from home to home,” said Cole.

Fire crews urge people, with these kinds of windy and dry conditions, to be careless and throw cigarettes out the window.

Also, if you are going to BBQ or grill, make sure you have water on standby, ready to go just in case.

Cole says if you spot a fire, do not hesitate to call 911.