Thursday, March 09, 2017

Hutchinson, Kansas 
March 9, 2017

As of Wednesday night, (click here) the Highlands fire in Reno County was 85 percent contained. Firefighters from across the state were on hand to douse the flames - a fact not lost on Hutchinson fire crews.
"This is the worst fire I have ever seen," said Chris Ledbetter, a Hutchinson firefighter.
Ledbetter never thought that he would see a fire as bad as the Highlands fire in his own backyard. "It was just all hands on deck," he explained.  "Trying to get in there and do the best we could, which proved to be a difficult task."
It is a difficult task, because wildfires are not fought like structure fires. The best tools for it can be found in most garages.
"The number-one tool being used out there right now is a chainsaw," said Ledbetter as he held a 25-pound saw. They help fire crews get to fires in areas of heavy brush. Pitchforks help clear brush and shovels help douse flames. 
The Hutchinson Fire Department knew it could put out the fire on their own. But support from people like Caleb Johnson with the Junction City Fire Department has been invaluable....

There is devastation currently in 23 of Kansas' counties.

March 7, 2017
By Michael Pearce
...“It’s horrible, just horrible. I left the house with (60) shells and used them all,” Konrade said. He said he probably killed 40 cows, “and in a lot of places there weren’t even very many left alive to put down.”

Konrade, (click here) an accountant by trade, had spent the day helping a local Clark County rancher destroy cattle maimed in the wildfire that he says burned almost the entire county.
“All in all, I’d guess I seen between 300 and 400 dead cattle,” he said. “It was just a matter of putting animals out of their misery, doing them a favor. They were going to die anyway.
“It’s horrible out there, the things I saw today. The fire was so big, and so much of Clark County burned, I don’t see how anything lived through it.”...