LYONS — Firefighting crews from around central Kansas including a brush truck from Great Bend were fighting three wildfires in Rice and McPherson counties Wednesday evening. As of 5 p.m., the fire was being propelled by 25 mile-per-hour winds from the southwest. Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a disaster declaration for the area.
Residents in the area of rural Sterling were told to avoid the area between Avenues Q and V, from 22nd Ave. east to Plum Street.
State officials announced that Rice County officials had asked for help from the Kansas National Guard to fight the fires. Colyer said the Guard would be sending helicopters to the area to help with the effort.
The National Weather Service reported one fire about 10 miles southeast of Lyons. The number of acres burning was not immediately available.
The Adjunct General’s office reported one fire had entered McPherson County and other counties also reported fires.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka has been activated to help coordinate the firefighting efforts.
Most of Kansas is under high fire danger warnings because of dry conditions and strong wind.