Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday issued a verbal disaster emergency proclamation due to increased fire weather risks this week.

The declaration allows more resources to be available for fighting wildfires. Warmer conditions, strong winds and low relative humidity will create very-high fire weather conditions throughout the state.

Local and state officials are advising all burns be postponed until conditions improve.

“Weather conditions are such that a high risk exists for wildland fires,” Governor Kelly said. “I urge everyone across the state to use extreme caution and avoid burning, if at all possible. A single spark is enough to touch off a fire that could have devastating consequences.”

“We can all do our part to prevent unwanted fires,” Rodney Redinger, Assistant Fire Management Officer, Kansas Forest Service, said. “If there are opportunities to avoid welding, using cutting torches or other activities that could cause a spark, please do so over the next few days. If you must engage in spark-causing activities, make sure to have a fire extinguisher, water pressure can or other tool for extinguishing ready for a fire that could ignite.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will staff the State Emergency Operations Center beginning Tuesday to assist counties and local responders if requested.

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