Sebelius urges wildfire safetyTo make Kansas citizens more aware of the dangers of wildfire, Gov. Ka
To make Kansas citizens more aware of the dangers of wildfire, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius proclaimed March 26-30 as Wildfire Prevention Week. <p>The partners promoting the week-long event are the Kansas Forest Service, Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshall, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas Citizen Corps, Hutchinson Community College Fire Science program, Kansas State University Research and Extension, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.<p>In 2006, alone, wildfires swept across an estimated 150,000 acres in the state. That’s more than 234 square miles. The Kansas Forest Service estimates it costs nearly $500,000 to battle Kansas wildfires in 2006. <p>The Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office is still working on damage estimates for 2006, but in 2005, wildfires took the lives of one civilian and two firefighters. The property value that burned equaled $693,000.<p>Ensuring wildfires don’t get started isn’t just a concern for rural areas. It’s a critical, personal responsibility for every Kansan, according to Bill Chornyak, deputy director, Kansas Division of Emergency Management.