Archive for March, 2016

Man hurt in Sherman County crash

KWCH – March 31, 2016

Photo by Sherman County Sheriff's Office

Photo by Sherman County Sheriff’s Office

One man was hurt after a crash in Sherman County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports the man was east-bound on I-70 and went off the roadway to the right.

It says he over-corrected attempting to get back on the road.

He hit a concrete barrier on a bridge. and the trailer came off the cab.

Both came to a stop under the bridge.

The man was wearing his seat-belt and should be alright.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

One man dead after afternoon house fire near Ninth and Pennsylvania streets

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – March 31, 2016

Photo by Nick Krug

Photo by Nick Krug

One man is dead after a Thursday afternoon house fire in East Lawrence, fire officials said.

At 2:49 p.m. emergency responders were dispatched to a one-story home at 923 Pennsylvania St., said Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Eve Tolefree. Lawrence Police officers arrived on the scene first.

At the scene, responders found a man, partially inside the home, and pulled him away from the fire, Tolefree said. He was declared dead shortly afterward.

The man’s name has not yet been released.

The fire was fully extinguished by 3:07 p.m., Tolefree said, although firefighters and police officers remained on scene to investigate.

A cause for the fire or preliminary damage estimates were not available Thursday afternoon, Tolefree said. She did say the home was not considered a crime scene.

No other injuries were reported in the fire, Tolefree said.

This is the second deadly fire in Lawrence in as many days.

One man died Wednesday in an early-morning house fire on Rawhide Lane.

Police said the fire followed a domestic dispute and reports that the man was armed with a handgun and threatening the home’s occupants.

Further information on the cause of Wednesday’s fire and the name of the victim were not being released Thursday afternoon, Tolefree said.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Volunteers still fighting Big Barber County wildfire

By Chris Arnold
KSN – March 31, 2016

Video 615

The Anderson Creek wildfire has been burning 24/7 since Tuesday a week ago, and that’s exactly what crews have been putting into fighting the fire – a full-time, non-stop effort.

The volunteer firefighters in Barber County have been on roving patrols throughout the day in known areas where hot spots are still burning, and along the fire’s perimeter. And while the fire is largely contained, it’s still not out.

Barber County Attorney Gaten Wood says fire crews continue to work around the clock.

“We believe we had about 10 acres burned amongst five different events,” said Wood.

There were more hot spots on Thursday, more than a week after strong winds blew the fire into Kansas from Oklahoma.

Most of the more than a hundred agencies that helped aid local crews have left, leaving local volunteer firefighters to continue to battle the blaze.

Jason Hartman with Kansas Forest Services is continuing to coordinate firefighting efforts. He says they’re making progress with the containment.

“If you take the entire perimeter and consider that 100%, 89% contained, what that term means is that we consider that area a low threat of any flare-ups,” said Hartman.

But Hartman stresses that doesn’t mean the fire is completely out.

“This fire is not out, there’s going to be days if not weeks of monitoring and addressing flare ups as they occur,” Hartman said.

With dry, windy conditions continuing, Barber County officials know their work could be far from over fighting those flare-ups and spreading fires.

“Everybody’s on edge, our Barber County Volunteer Fire Department is doing those patrols, we’re not going to let up on that,” said Wood.

Wood is asking for the public’s help, saying if anyone sees any flames or smoke they should call the Barber County Sheriff’s Office immediately.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Training goes to blazes for area team

By Patty Moore
Hiawatha World – March 31, 2016

Luke Pollock, Powhattan (second from left), and Adam Rogers of Horton (by truck) and their firefighting crew take a break from the fire line near Medicine lodge, where they battled the Anderson Creek Wildfire in South Central Kansas.

Luke Pollock, Powhattan (second from left), and Adam Rogers of Horton (by truck) and their firefighting crew take a break from the fire line near Medicine lodge, where they battled the Anderson Creek Wildfire in South Central Kansas.

Wally Leander Jr. of Hiawatha (second from left) and Ross Hauck (foreground) of Kansas Forestry Service worked on logistics team to keep personnel and supplies moving to the fire lines of the Anderson Creek Wildfire in South West Kansas. Leander is with the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Horton, and left his work with a training program at Hutchinson to help bring the huge burn under control.

Wally Leander Jr. of Hiawatha (second from left) and Ross Hauck (foreground) of Kansas Forestry Service worked on logistics team to keep personnel and supplies moving to the fire lines of the Anderson Creek Wildfire in South West Kansas. Leander is with the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Horton, and left his work with a training program at Hutchinson to help bring the huge burn under control.

More Pics

Five residents of Brown County and one from Jackson County were in the right place at a bad time, and found themselves going to blazes. They went from training students in firefighting to walking the lines at the massive wildfire that roared into South Central Kansas from Oklahoma last week.

The six who work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Horton Agency left Horton for Hutchinson Community College May 20 to help conduct the 2016 Mitigation Project, an annual multi-agency firefighting training session for students in the college’s Fire Science Program.

The session was well underway on March 22, when the wildfire that began in the Anderson Creek area of Wood County, Oklahoma, roared across the border into the Kansas counties of Barber and Comanche. The Kansas Forestry Service set up firefighting operations in Barber County, which is just one county away from Reno County and Hutchinson.

The mentors, trainers and support staff of the training session, most of whom are experienced in firefighting, were dispatched on May 23 to Medicine Lodge in Barber County. The 38 students volunteered to go on line for “the real thing.”

Those from the BIA-Horton Agency who joined in fighting the Anderson Creek Wildfire:

* Adam Rogers of Horton was in the field as an Operations Division Supervisor, overseeing crews and engine groups on the fire lines.

* Luke Pollock of Powhattan and James “Taps” Simon of Horton were squad bosses on the fire lines, overseeing crews made up of the Fire Science students from the college.

* Wally Leander Jr. of Hiawatha worked out of Heritage Center in Medicine Lodge on logistics,helping to keep personnel and supplies routed to hot spot areas as needed.

* Shannon Scott of Everest worked with the public information group, assisting in the Barber County Sheriff’s Office with dispatch and transferring phone calls for fire personnel to Operations at the Command Center, and accompanying media crews to fire lines, and assisting with news conferences. News crews from as far away as The New York Times were in Medicine Lodge, and phone inquiries came from media as far away as France.

* Denise Lundin of Mayetta worked on finance, assisting Kansas Forestry Service personnel and other agencies in keeping paperwork and funding moving.

“The drive from Hutchinson was surreal,” Scott said, “with heavy smoke encountered at the town of Cunningham, the city of Pratt dark at mid-day, and Medicine Lodge seen in a dark, dirty orange.”

She added that the air was heavy with soot, ash, dirt and sand, making eyes, mouths and surfaces gritty, and in three days of heavy winds at various times from all four directions (some gusts up to 60 mph or more), the flames also changed direction repeatedly.

Smoke from the fire drifted as far away as Kentucky.

“The fire roared through Barber and Comanche counties in towering walls and at frightening speeds,” Scott said, adding that in most cases, the Horton crew didn’t see one another until they were dispatched to return home Saturday, when the fire neared 90 percent containment.

Kansas National Guard Black Hawk helicopters dumped thousands of gallons of water on the flames. When several drones were spotted flying over the burn area, hampering control efforts, a flight restriction was put in place until sunset on Sunday, making it a federal offense to put “non-fire air traffic … within the (burn) area.”

Snow on Sunday helped bring the blaze under 90 percent control by that evening, according to Barber County officials. Crews continued on the lines throughout this week.

The First Christian Church in Medicine Lodge cancelled the Easter Pageant and converted its auditorium into a feeding center for the firefighters, many of whom, including most of those from the Horton Agency, spent nights there on cots. Scott bunked in the basement of the Barber County Sheriff’s Office.

There were no deaths or injuries at last report, but 12 homes had been destroyed by the fire, along with heavy losses of livestock, pastures, outbuildings, equipment, pets, fences, bridges and train trestles. However, the hundreds of firefighters who fought the blaze prevented what could have been huge additional losses.

Help is pouring in for those who sustained heavy losses, including feed for livestock and other recovery efforts. Losses will have long-lasting effects, and multi-million dollar costs,with Barber County hit hardest. The fire is the largest in recorded Kansas history and one of the largest in the U.S., with the burn scar visible in photos from weather satellites out in space.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Benefit breakfast to raise money for County Task Force 3, 4 firefighters

Butler County Times Gazette – March 31, 2016

The First Christian Church will be hosting a benefit breakfast Saturday to raise funds for the Butler County Task Force 3 & 4 firefighters.

The “Flapjacks for Firemen” benefit breakfast will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. at First Christian Church, 300 W. Central Ave., El Dorado. There will be a free will offering taken.

Task Force 3 and 4, made up of fire departments throughout the county, worked several fires in the area recently, including in Harvey and Barber counties.

These units also provide protection to the areas north and south of El Dorado, including Towanda and Benton.

All of the proceeds from the breakfast will go to the task force volunteers to help replace damaged equipment or any other needs.

A portion also will be directed to Barber County due to their expenses in the recent fires.

The goal is to say “thank you” to the firefighters for all of their work protecting property and homes.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Hays Fire Department to conduct airport firefighter training Friday

Hays Post – March 31, 2016

Photo by Hays Fire Department

Photo by Hays Fire Department

Hays firefighters will be completing practical fire attack training to re-qualify as airport firefighters tomorrow, April 1.

The practical firefighting training will be presented by the University of Missouri Fire & Rescue Training Institute and conducted at the Hays Regional Airport. The University of Missouri’s mobile aircraft fire trainer will be used to simulate various aircraft firefighting and rescue situations.

To support airport operations, city of Hays firefighters are required to complete a comprehensive airport firefighter training program meeting FAA standards. This includes a 30-hour airport firefighter refresher course each year for firefighters to remain qualified for airport firefighter duty.

Because this training will be conducted in the secure flight operations area of the airport, it will not be accessible by the general public.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire in Ventilation System Reported at Exide Battery

Salina Post – March 31, 2016

No one was hurt when a fire broke out in the ventilation system at Exide Battery, 413 E. Berg Road, late Wednesday night.

Saline County Undersheriff Roger Soldan said the Salina Fire Department was called out at about 11:30 p.m. to a report of a fire in the ventilation duct on the northwest side of the plant.

Employees were evacuated from the building. The fire was reported to be under control at 12:37 a.m., out at 12:58 a.m., and employees were allowed to return to the plant at 1:05 a.m.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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