Some evacuation areas lifted in Reno County

Firefighters look for hotspots in the Highlands fire near Hutchinson on Monday, March 6, 2017. (KSN Photo)
(Courtesy: Gov. Sam Brownback)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials in Reno County gave an update Wednesday on the wildfire fight. The Highlands fire has been 75 percent contained with 6300 acres burned. The evacuation area is now smaller.

“We are now opening everything south of 69th Street and everything east of Halstead. The west evacuation line hasn’t changed any. However, we pulled up the southbound from 43rd to 69th and moved in the east boundary from K-61 to Halstead,” Sheriff Randy Henderson said.

Henderson added the owners of eight homes that were destroyed will be able to see their properties on Thursday.

“We have contacted every owner of those properties except two. We are setting up procedures for tomorrow to get the owners of the destroyed properties here. We will have counseling on site. They will be taken to the property one-on-one to inspect the property.”

Right now, fire has been reported coming from Cottonwood trees on all sides of the fire. Black Hawk helicopters are continuing to dump water to get some of those extinguished.

Officials said two firefighters received minor injuries. One received back injuries, and the other was splashed with muriatic acid. That firefighter was transported to the hospital as a precaution.

During the afternoon conference, they noted that the emergency animal shelter at the fairgrounds is shutting down and domestic animals will be taken to the Hutchinson Animal Shelter. If you have questions call 620-694-1924.

For other questions, residents can contact the United Way at 211.

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