Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials on Tuesday warned area residents about extreme to catastrophic fire weather conditions. Winds today have sustained speeds of 30-40 mile per hour and gusts between 50-55 miles per hour, contributing to several significant grass and wildland fires in the area.
The National Weather Service has instituted a Red Flag Warning through 7 p.m. today. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can ignite fires across the area.
"The WFD is asking residents to show extreme caution with any ignition sources, especially during this very hazardous time frame," Stuart Bevis, Fire Marshal, said. "Please ensure all smoking materials are fully extinguished, preferably soaked in water, and disposed of in a metal container. All use of open flame, including outdoor fireplaces, should be suspended during this time period."
For more questions, Fire Marshal Bevis is available for interviews at 4 p.m. Please call (316) 268-4441, visit www.wichita.gov, or find the WFD on Facebook.