Largest Wildfire In Kansas History Continues To Burn
About one inch of snow fell on parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Easter Sunday and officials say the precipitation provided a boost to their efforts to contain a wildfire described as the largest in Kansas history.
The fire began last week in Oklahoma and spread north to Kansas. Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, says the fire has burned almost 400,000 acres of prairie and ranch land in three counties across two states.
Oklahoma Forestry Services says 370 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is known as the Anderson Creek Fire. The agency reported Sunday:
"Containment is now estimated at 40 percent for the portion of the fire in Woods County, Okla. Kansas officials are reporting the fire to be 31-percent contained in Barber County and 90-percent contained in Comanche County.
"When a fire is referred to as contained, it means a line is constructed, firefighters are working to extinguish or remove burning material near containment lines and the spread is stopped. Control means removing burning material near the lines is complete and the line is expected to hold. Once the fire is completely out and all resources have been released from the scene, the fire is 100% controlled."
Melanie Karns, spokesperson for Oklahoma Forestry Services, told Reuters:
"Firefighters are trying to use some of [Sunday's] precipitation to get a handle on things. If we just get a little bit of rain or snow, it helps, but it takes more than just a little bit to help put out some of the heavier fuels."
Reuters had this update on the fire-fighting effort:
Fire-fighting teams have used Kansas Air National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to dump buckets of water in canyons and other dry areas. Helicopters continued to drop water in dry and burning areas on Sunday afternoon, said Shawna Hartman, spokeswoman for Kansas Forest Service.