Coldwater takes in evacuees from three Kansas towns

COLDWATER, Kan. (KSNW) – More blazes have fired up in Clark County.

Fire crews thought they had it under control, but when the wind picked up, they decided to evacuate residents.

The towns of Ashland, Englewood and Protection, along with Buffalo and Laverne, Oklahoma have all been evacuated.

Those people aren’t sure when they can go home, or if their home is still standing.

We know at least 150 have evacuated from those three Kansas towns, and have converged at the South Central High School gymnasium and cafeteria in Coldwater.

KSN spoke with a 102-year old woman, who didn’t want to go on camera.

She said she had to evacuate to Coldwater and is left wondering tonight if her home is still standing.

Others, like Ashland resident Lorraine McGonigle are still waiting to hear from loved ones.

McGonigle says she’s spent several hours wondering if her husband, from the Ashland area, is okay.

He was out checking cattle on the farm and the last she heard, he didn’t have cell service.

“There’s a guy out there on the tractor, I imagine that’s my husband, but we’ve got cattle out there and they’re loose,” said McGonigle.

Coldwater Mayor Penny Bruckner says they’ve had a lot of people flood into their town.

Even with the added crowd, Bruckner says they are happy to do the best they can to help out.

“They’ll sleep here, there are people who’ve opened up their homes, they’ve offered if people need a place,” said Bruckner.

Fire crews have been busy for hours trying to get this under control.

KSN has been told the fire has been moving quickly.

The three towns in Kansas that were evacuated had an hour or less notice from police to get out.

“They’ve done well to get people evacuated from Ashland and from Protection, they’re still over there trying to get people in the country,” said Bruckner.

The American Red Cross helped feed the more than 150 people who evacuated to Coldwater.

KSN was told they only had 40 cots originally, but that Pratt was bringing 80 more.


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