Mar 9, 2017

The Latest: 2-county Kansas wildfire sets new state record

Hutchinson, KS
USA
by
US News via Associated Press
Cattle graze with a background of smoke from wildfires near Hutchinson, Kan., Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Fires raged in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and warnings that conditions were ripe were issued for Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. The fire warning came after powerful thunderstorms moved through the middle of the country overnight, spawning dozens of suspected tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. Photo: Orlin Wagner, The Associated Press
Cattle graze with a background of smoke from wildfires near Hutchinson, Kan., Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Fires raged in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and warnings that conditions were ripe were issued for Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. The fire warning came after powerful thunderstorms moved through the middle of the country overnight, spawning dozens of suspected tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. Photo: Orlin Wagner, The Associated Press

A massive grass fire raging in two Kansas counties has set a state record for the biggest involving a single blaze.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Katie Horner says an estimated 861 square miles of land have been blackened in Comanche and Clark counties as of Wednesday. The 625 square miles charred in Comanche County is about 85 percent of that county's land.

Horner says the previous record came last year, with the Anderson Creek fire consuming 488 square miles of land in Barber and Comanche counties.

Horner says that since Saturday, large grassfires have been reported in 23 Kansas counties, consuming more than 1,000 square miles.