Congress reminded the five agencies that the John D. Dingell, Jr. Natural Resources Management Act that passed overwhelmingly in both houses almost two years ago requires that by March 12, 2021 they develop and operate a tracking system to remotely locate the positions of fire resources. Having said that, the information below, showing “megafires” (that exceeded 100,000 acres), comes from InciWeb which primarily has data for fires on federal jurisdiction. High winds have moved in across Northeast Kansas & Southeast Nebraska, and several power outages have been reported in Marshall & Washington Counties. The individuals interacted with stakeholders, including air quality regulators, fire personnel, public health practitioners, and community residents. Thousands of years of controlled, targeted combustion created a landscape that was a patchwork of new and old burns—meadows, berry patches, park-like woodland, and so on. Several departments responded to a grass fire near Turon in Reno County on Friday. The Fires That Forged Us: Six Kansas City (MO) Firefighters Killed in Blast 11.30.20 On November 29, 1988, six Kansas City (MO) Fire Department (KCFD) firefighters from Pumper 30 … Smoky skies caused by wildland fires are becoming seasonal norms, especially in some parts of the United States and Australia. A new satellite image shows grass fires scattered like seeds across the Kansas prairie. We have to learn to live with fire, but hopefully the caucus will work on the list of six things that need to be done to protect fire-prone communities: When I heard about this new Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, I immediately thought about the plight of the federal employees who are asked to, in many cases, spend months away from their families each year suppressing wildland fires. Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Bob. Their movement depends on the fire behavior and the atmospheric conditions. The potential for wildland fire’s microbial content to affect humans who breathe in smoke, especially from high-emissions wildfires or for multiple weeks, is appreciable. LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Football head coach Les Miles announced today that offensive line coach Luke Meadows has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. In November the National Association of State Foresters wrote a letter to the House and Senate appropriations leadership opposing the concept: While we agree more must be done to minimize the threat of catastrophic wildfire, we are concerned that establishing a Deputy Chief for Fire and Aviation would divert valuable resources  from land management activities that reduce the threat of wildfire, only to establish additional bureaucracy around wildfire suppression… Establishing a Deputy Chief for Fire and Aviation is tantamount to building a “fire agency” and therefore contrary to the intent of the “Wildfire Funding Fix,” which Congress passed to free up funding for more active forest management. Much or most of that burning was due to the area’s first humans, who torched away the undergrowth that fueled future fires before it could build to dangerous levels. I had been aware of a couple of others Caucuses, such as the Congressional Fire Services Caucus (formerly chaired by Senator Joe Biden) and the Congressional Black Caucus. Their stated goals are to elevate in Congress an awareness and bipartisan consensus around wildfire management and mitigation, environmental and community protections, public health and safety, and wildfire preparedness and recovery. How far and which microbes are transported in smoke under various conditions are critical unknowns, but the relevance of these questions is increasing with longer wildfire seasons and higher severity trends. He has also served as a graduate assistant at Indiana and Toledo, along with the offensive line coach at Tiffin University. From: Navarro K, Vaidyanathan A.  — Notes from the Field: Understanding Smoke Exposure in Communities and Fire Camps Affected by Wildfires— California and Oregon, 2020. State and Private Forestry will continue to be an important part of the USFS overall program with or without the Fire Director working directly for the Deputy Chief of SPF. Click here. “What does it mean?” The National Weather Service in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill, MO Longer contracts for firefighting aircraft? Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma electors today cast their votes as expected for President Donald Trump at their respective statehouses. It is believed Captain Moore inhaled the parasite while fighting wildfires. A biopsy showed his brain had been invaded by the parasite Balamuthia mandrillaris which enters the body through the lower respiratory tract or through open wounds. Both houses of Congress passed a 5,600-page omnibus spending package Monday night to fund numerous programs that included the Departments of Agriculture and Interior along with COVID-19 relief. Kansas crews are battling multiple wildfires across the state. The Kansas Department for Children and Families is helping to make sure often-forgotten young people are remembered this holiday season. Of note, although smoke from wildfires drifted long distances and affected downwind communities, the brunt of poor air quality was observed in communities adjacent to wildfire incidents. When something—lightning, a campfire, a downed utility line, a spark from a tool hitting a rock—sets the forest debris on fire, the flames climb the “fuel ladder” to shrubbery and young trees, then jump to the crowns of the older trees, creating a high wall of flame that can be caught by the wind. In addition, the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus will: James D. Ogsbury, the Executive Director of the Western Governors’ Association released a statement of support for the Caucus: Wildfire is an important natural process in our environment, but uncharacteristic wildfire is a persistent threat, especially in western states, due to a host of past management practices and climate factors.  The House Wildfire Caucus is an exciting platform to bring attention to these challenges and seek bipartisan solutions to increase the health and resilience of our communities and ecosystems.  WGA is pleased to see the formation of the new Caucus and I especially want to thank its Chairs, Representatives Joe Neguse of Colorado and John Curtis of Utah, for their bipartisan leadership on this matter of great importance to the West. “The health impact of inhaling wildfire smoke increases dramatically during high-emissions wildfires and with long exposure,” said Kobziar, associate professor of Wildland Fire Science at the University of Idaho. Here are their responses, in some cases edited for brevity: Tom Harbour, former Director of FAM for the Forest Service: The language is controversial. The government will not even classify them as firefighters, instead they work under the title of forestry or range technicians while performing a hazardous job for very little pay. Most of northeast Kansas is under a Red Flag Warning and Wind Advisory until 6 p.m. KANSAS CITY, Mo. I can see that some folks would be concerned that the largest single budgeted function in the FS doesn’t have its own Deputy Chief. Cowley County Emergency Management said … Once suspended in the air, particles smaller than 5 μm can travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. What role do microbes in wildfire smoke play in the spread of disease? In addition, environmental hazards such as extreme heat and higher concentrations of ambient carbon monoxide were prevalent during days with heavy smoke and after extreme fire growth days. Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management . Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kelly. And in fact, these fires are a bit like seeds, in that they are a crucial part of the prairie ecosystem. [Kathy] McCovey is a retired Forest Service anthropologist. The agency’s modeling research on how COVID-19 may spread between firefighters or in communities during response efforts led to new interagency safety protocols to better support fire camp management. “I am very appreciative of everything Coach Meadows has done for this program in his two seasons here. Smoke exposure levels at the Creek Fire ranged from hazardous to unhealthy for 30 days, (From Bill: Wildland firefighters and people who live in areas where long-term fires are common, such as Northern California and the Northwest, know that smoke can persist for days or weeks and can cause or aggravate respiratory and other medical issues. They may also be protected in small clusters of particulate matter.”. Since 1965, when fire records first started being kept in Kansas, the 2016 and 2017 fires are the only triple-digit fires in acreage ever reported. In Kansas, more than 18 square miles of land were torched by several fires that have been largely contained. KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- For the second time this year, police arrested the same woman who is accused of intentionally starting multiple fires in Kansas … Fort Riley, in conjunction with the State of Kansas, Fourth District, Veterans of Foreign Wars and VFW Auxiliary, will host a Wreaths Across America... An El Dorado Correctional Facility resident, Brett Phillips, 31, died Sunday, December 13, 2020. For years they had been begging the Forest Service to let them burn the brush on the slopes around their homes. John Morookian, who serves as a senior offensive analyst, will coach the offensive line for the remainder of the season. The Kansas Forest Service in Manhattan has dispatched 36 people to help fight fires in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming. Please report any large fires whether ongoing or recently contained, here. Two recent articles on our website (here and here) by guest authors who are currently forestry technicians lay out compelling cases for improving the way we manage these federal employees. In 2020, wildfires in the Western U.S. set new records and led to extremely unhealthy or hazardous air quality levels for many weeks in a row. Today in History for December 21st. I really don’t know enough about the issue to have an opinion. The description of the goals of this new caucus does not mention the 15,000 federal personnel that work in the field of wildland fire. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts firefighting as an at-risk profession for coccidioidomycosis, an infection caused by a pathogenic fungus well known to be aerosolized when soils are disturbed. John Curtis (R-UT) and Joe Neguse (D-CO) expect to launch the bipartisan caucus in the 117th Congress which begins January 3, 2021. Follow The Wichita Eagle newspaper for the latest headlines on South Central Kansas news. There are no major changes in the appropriations for wildland fire activities that employ approximately 15,000 forestry and range technicians whose primary duties are fighting wildfires. But there are some interesting issues that were highlighted, not in the text of the bill itself, but in the “explanatory statement” that elaborates on Congress’ oversight of the fire programs in the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. It would not break the bank to pay them a living wage, let them ALL earn benefits such as health insurance and a retirement account, convert seasonals to permanent employees, stipulate certain presumptive illnesses that are common among firefighters, and hire them under a Firefighter position description. Kelly Martin, former Fire Chief of Yosemite National Park, National Park Service. Visit Kansas City's most reliable source for breaking news. Advocate for wildfire-related programs, including funding for disaster relief, prevention, and mitigation; Share federal relief programs and resources with communities before, during and after wildfire season; and. The final version of the bill that passed Monday night eased off on that requirement, suggesting the agency just think about it: The Committees are interested in data and recommendations relating to any changes that could be made to improve the representation of Wildland Fire Management leadership under this structure and the potential creation of a new Deputy Chief for Fire and Aviation. On March 30, 2020, the Suomi-NPP satellite captured this imagery of fires dotting Kansas when it passed overhead around 2:26 p.m. local time (CDT). Five different Chiefs (Bosworth, Kimball, Tidwell, Tooke, Christiansen) have had the budget facts in front of them and have decided NOT to make a change.  The most obvious immediate question is what would happen with S&PF programs, and what happens with the important relationships with State Foresters? If the President signs the bill today, the report would be due March 22, 2021. KNDY AM... TOPEKA –Today Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-70 extending the deadline for renewal of driver's licenses to June 30, 2021. Email Address * First Name . The author, Charles C. Mann, interviewed members of the Karuk tribe that were affected by last summer’s fires, including the Slater Fire that destroyed hundreds of structures near Happy Camp. “We have decided to go in a different direction for the remainder of the season,” said Miles. Welcome to the Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management Website. Kansas Forest Service 2610 Claflin Road Manhattan, KS 66502 785.532.3300. Last week before the new language became available Monday night I checked with some fire management folks, asking their thoughts about the requirement, at the time, of promoting FAM to be their own branch with a Deputy Chief for Fire and Aviation. Morookian spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons at Iowa State as a quality control assistant on offense. When compared to other homeland security responsibilities of the federal government, wildland fire too often seems like an afterthought: yes, we have to pay to put out fires, then let’s move on to another subject. Our ABC affiliate in Kansas City posted this: Hazy sunset with smoke in the sky from big Kansas wildfires. Based on just budget, the FAM program has been “Deputy Chief eligible” for a couple decades, but more goes into significant organization change decisions than budget. It is easy to talk about making a difference. Three large fires have burned 307,279 acres in California. More than half of the entire budget of the Forest Service goes to Fire and Aviation Management (FAM). Kansas fires offensive coordinator Koenning after 6 games AP LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Les Miles was fired by LSU in part because his offenses failed to score enough points. They are hoping to restore, in a current-day context, a more robust prescribed fire program. “If they don’t, in five years it will burn again and be worse.” (Here’s how wildfires get started—and how to stop them.). Arbitrarily drawing a circle around several separate fires that have not merged, and calling them a complex, should not covert them to one fire for statistical purposes. See current wildfires and wildfire perimeters on the Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center Wildfire Map. A primary aspect of this engagement was to forecast smoke levels for areas immediately affected by fires and generate a daily smoke outlook to keep stakeholders informed about prevailing smoke levels. NASA | LANCE | Fire Information for Resource Management System provides near real-time active fire data from MODIS and VIIRS to meet the needs of firefighters, scientists and users interested in monitoring fires. Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required. But even when I was still working I always thought it was strange that Fire was under State and Private. In an article published December 18 in Science, Leda Kobziar and George Thompson called the attention of the scientific community to the health impacts of wildfire smoke’s microbial content. This year there were at least 18 across four states, and one of those burned over a million acres — unheard of in modern times. KNDY-FM / KNDY-AM / KDNS-FM / KZDY-FM / KQNK-FM / KQNK-AM. It's that time of year when smoke from prairie fires in Kansas could reach Nebraska Shelly Kulhanek Mar 26, 2019 Mar 26, 2019 × You have run out of free articles. For the second day in a row, Kansas firefighters battled grass fires across the state. Reducing fuels in the Wildland-Urban Interface, and. Two Congressmen have announced a plan to create a Wildfire Caucus to work collaboratively on wildfire mitigation and recovery solutions. It is a support network among Native American communities that are revitalizing their traditional fire practices in a contemporary context. Nationwide on lands of all ownership 181,234 acres have been reported burned this year in Alaska, and 10,069,213 in the other 49 states as of December 18. Highlight balanced and bipartisan science-based wildfire management and mitigation proposals in Congress. The Committees recognize that wildland fire related activities touch every aspect of the agency and believe that providing the fire function with a senior leadership role at the Service will improve coordination and better represents the role fire plays in agency budgeting and decision making. Last Name . Due to the fact that the wildland fire budget for suppression and preparedness is an overwhelming part of the entire USFS budget, this new proposed Deputy Chief of Fire and Aviation Management (FAM) position reporting directly to the Chief of the USFS leads to better accountability between the Chief of the USFS and the Fire and Aviation program.  Much needed modern reforms and developing a “National Fire Plan 2.0” will need to be closely linked between the Chief of the USFS and the Dep Chief of FAM. Find things to do, area events, concerts, coupons, news, jobs, blogs and more. — A series of fires ignited in the grass along Highway 152 in the Northland on Saturday, which prompted a large response … Hospitals in Colorado and Nebraska are calling Kansas in desperate search of beds for coronavirus patients. 3 Kansas Faces No. Any lists comparing fires by size that includes complexes should be looked at with skepticism. Phillips County Retirement Center got a coronavirus testing machine this month from the U.S. Department of Health and... High Winds Knock Out Power To Portions Of Marshall & Washington County; KNDY AM & FM Off-The-Air, Governor Laura Kelly Extends Deadline for Expiring Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards, DCF & Partners Raise More than $23K in Gift Cards and Monetary Donations for Hope for the Holidays, Tuttle Creek Lake Prepares For Winter: Outflow Increases, Lake Level Drops, Jayhawks Use 3-pointers to Race Past Mountaineers 79-65, No. ... Today’s top headlines. Smoky skies caused by wildland fires are becoming seasonal norms, especially in some parts of the United States and Australia. To McCovey, the problem was not just that the new forests were flammable. Sam Brownback said Thursday the large fire was mostly contained everywhere except Barber County, but the windy conditions could spark new problems in the area southwest of Wichita. I can understand the concern of the State Foresters with Fire Management leaving State and Private. Let’s watch and see if words are converted to action. Many states and local agencies rarely if ever enter data for their state responsibility fires at the site, so the list does not include some very large fires in California, Washington, and other areas. “We don’t know how far and which microbes are carried in smoke,” said Thompson, associate professor of Clinical Medicine at UC Davis. I look forward to using our last three games as an opportunity to continue to improve as a team, and believe this decision supports that.”. In looking at the records from 1985 to 2020 for the lower 49 states, that was the highest total. Fire data is available for download or can be viewed through a map interface. Extremely high fire danger today as winds become strong KSNT News has a crew on scene. For example, communities near the fires in California and Oregon experienced high concentrations of PM2.5, as measured by air quality monitors, resulting in “Unhealthy” to “Hazardous” conditions, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Index. Courtesy of Kansas Athletics A springtime ritual from March through April, ranchers in the state often burn off dead grass in their cattle pastures to encourage new growth. Maps Large Reported Wildfires. Undocumented immigrants dying of COVID-19, but many fear getting vaccine. The Next Generation 3.0 contracts for five large air tankers announced in October are for only one year with the possibility of up to four more years at the discretion of the FS. Apparently worried that the five agencies may be dragging their feet in following the requirements in the bill (which became law), Congress very, very politely issued a reminder in the explanatory statement: The Committee encourages increased investment in these technologies within the funds provided for Forest and Rangeland Research and for preparedness activities in Wildland Fire Management. National Geographic has a long, interesting article about the differences in Northern California forests before and after the resident native Americans were prohibited from continuing their practice of prescribed burning. Courtesy of K-State Athletics The goal of the project is to provide additional air quality information during wildfires – especially in areas with no AirNow monitors. LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Football head coach Les Miles announced today that offensive line coach Luke Meadows has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. But knowing it exists and having peer reviewed quantifiable data proving it is hazardous to health, are two different things. Wildfire smoke contains microbes, a fact that’s often ignored, but one that may have important health repercussions. Air resource advisors were fully integrated into the wildfire incident management teams to provide insights into understanding and predicting smoke exposure levels. These three fires in California were not entered in InciWeb: Here is how the USFS this week described the 2020 fire year: The Forest Service was successful in prioritizing early suppression of wildfire ignitions while facing a record-breaking fire year, with the most acres burned on national forests since 1910. The agency also improved forest conditions and reduced wildfire risk on over 2.65 million acres, removing hazardous fuels like dead and downed trees, and combating disease, insect and invasive species infestations. According to The Wichita Eagle, state officials tracked 45 fires across the state on Thursday alone, with several breaking out in the Kansas City area. Kansas restaurants attractions and local businesses. Interactive real-time wildfire map for the United States, including California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and others. McCovey’s ancestors had farmed the landscape for many reasons. Move the Forest Service Fire and Aviation section out of State and Private Forestry. So far, these 36, who are either full-time Kansas Forest Service employees or trained Fire Protection Specialists, have been deployed for 1,262 days. It was that they were “a food desert for animals and people.” The Forest Service and western state governments, like her ancestors, had managed the forest—had, in effect, farmed it. Democrats and Republicans in Kansas will keep their seats in the U.S.... By Jim McLean - Kansas News Service The Committee encourages prioritizing the use of commercial, off-the-shelf solutions, including mobile MESH networking technology, that provide situational awareness and interoperable communications between federal, state, and local firefighting agencies. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1873–1875. Only one or two decades ago it was not common to have a fire that burned more than 100,000 acres. Fire Aviation has more details about the possibility of longer contracts. 2 Baylor used a big first half to pull away for... Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. Crews successfully saved a home in Barber County, Darcy Golliher, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Incident Management Team, said Friday. Science like this could lead to changes that may benefit firefighters and the general public.). 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