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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Brownback proclaims Wildfire Awareness Week

  • Ford County Fire and EMS Chief Jerry Taylor says that wildfires are a serious concern in Ford County, comprising the majority of fires the department faces.

    The issue is one that affects all of Kansas and Gov. Sam Brownback has declared this week Wildfire Awareness Week in Kansas, noting that a large number of wildfires are preventable.
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  • Ford County Fire and EMS Chief Jerry Taylor says that wildfires are a serious concern in Ford County, comprising the majority of fires the department faces. The issue is one that affects all of Kansas and Gov. Sam Brownback has declared this week Wildfire Awareness Week in Kansas, noting that a large number of wildfires are preventable. In his proclamation, Brownback noted wildfires as a serious public safety concern. In 2013, Kansas fire departments reported 3,222 vegetation fires resulting in six injuries and $4,268,752 in property loss and damage. 82 percent of Kansas firefighters do volunteer work suppressing wildfires. “The State of Kansas is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our state,” Brownback said in the proclamation. “Preparation is crucial in preventing the loss of life and property from wildfires, and every Kansas citizen shares this responsibility,” he added. Significant damage can result from wildfires, especially in windy Kansas weather. One and a half years ago the Ford County Fire Department faced a wildfire at Fort Dodge that nearly destroyed several buildings there. “Any time you're burning off the vegetation it can be dangerous,” Taylor said. Anything from crop damage to structural damage to injuries or death can result from wildfires. Taylor said that most wildfires result from human error and that using common sense is the best way to prevent them. “Just be very alert as to your surroundings when you're out working,” he said. “Use your head.” Brownback also noted that, “protection measures such as defensible space around homes and communities, use of fire resistant building materials and adequate road access can help protect homes and communities.” Kansas reports an average of 125,000 acres of wildland fires each year.
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