Firefighters had a busy afternoon Monday as a grass fire, fueled by strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures, scorched around 300 acres in southeastern Riley County.
The blaze was fully contained as of 6 p.m. Riley County Fire District No. 1 had been dispatched initially for a fire in the median of Hwy 177, near Deep Creek Road. Due to the speed and intensity of the fire, mutual assistance was called in from Kansas Forest Service, Geary County Rural Fire Department Explorer Post and Wabaunsee County Fire District No. 8. Contracted air support from Heinen Brothers Ag Services was provided through Kansas Forest Service.
Riley County officials say more than 16 homes were threatened but no structures were lost and no injuries were reported.
The Riley County Commission declared a local disaster emergency, streamlining plans to fight the fire quickly.
The cause is currently undetermined, but Deputy Chief John Martens says it was likely caused by sparks from a vehicle or trailer or an improperly discarded cigarette.
Residents who sustained property damage are being encouraged to contact the Kansas Insurance Department Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-432-2484.