Red Flag Warning in effect today in much of northeast Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Outdoor burning is being discouraged on Friday as the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of northeast Kansas.
The warning is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The extreme fire danger resulted in the weather service banning outdoor burning on Friday.
Additionally, anyone seeing any wildfire is asked to report the blaze immediately.
The weather service says strong winds are expected out of the south and southwest at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts of up to 45 mph.
Low humidity values of 20 to 26 percent could result in rapid spread of any fires.
Among area counties covered by the warning are Shawnee, Douglas, Franklin, Osage, Lyon, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Riley, Geary, Franklin, Anderson, Dickinson, Marshall, Brown and Nemaha.
Several fires were being reported on a cool, sunny Friday morning in the Topeka area, including one around 6 a.m. near N.W. 62nd and Landon Road just northwest of the capital city.
Another wildfire was reported around 8:30 a.m. near 213th and Fairlawn in Osage County. Crews from Osage City, Burlingame and Lyndon were responding to battle that blaze.
On Thursday evening, smoke from a controlled burn led to several traffic issues on Interstate 35 just east of Emporia in Lyon County, according to KVOE Radio.
The controlled burn sent smoke over I-35 about eight miles east of Emporia.
The landowner conducting the burn said the wind shifted direction while the burn was in progress, causing smoke to pour over I-35, said Emporia Fire Captain Bill Harmon.
Crews from Emporia and Hartford-Neosho Rapids responded to the burn.
Initial reports indicated the smoke caused multiple accidents. However, Lyon County Undersheriff John Koelsch said an investigation showed evidence of only one crash, according to KVOE.
Lyon County Deputy Brandon Early said Bryan Bonar, 55, of Kansas City, Kan., was driving a van northbound on I-35 that rear-ended a semi-trailer in smoky conditions. Bonar declined medical treatment and the semi continued northbound.
Northbound traffic on I-35 was backed up approximately three miles at one time and southbound traffic was also backed up, according to Koelsch. Traffic was proceeding smoothly through the area shortly before 6 p.m.
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