Dry conditions and brisk winds across the state have resulted in an increased risk of wildfires. As such, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are advising Kansans to use caution and common sense to help prevent fires.
Because the best defense is a good offense, they offer the following fire prevention tips:
* Refrain from burning trash or debris as strong winds can carry embers.
* Do not use chimeneas or fire pits. Though small, one stray ember can cause a fire if carried by the wind to dry vegetation.
* Extinguish smoking materials properly and dispose them in a trash can.
* Protect your property by removing weeds and tall grass around your home. Remove leafs and other debris that collect around your property. Eliminate ladder fuels by pruning tree branches to within six feet of the ground. Remove flammable materials from underneath the house, decks and porches. Mow regularly to keep grass four inches or shorter, but do not mow in windy, dry conditions.
* Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them.
* Secure all chains on trailers. A lose chain can cause sparks.
* Farmers and ranchers should establish and maintain firebreaks around pastures and structures. Create a livestock evacuation plan.
* If you accidentally start a fire, call for help immediately. It could quickly get out of control due to the high winds.