Large swaths of the western U.S. are on fire and you can see it on the horizon at dusk. Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah have been hit especially hard. It might be a while before these fires are extinguished, but crews are working hard to get the flames under control.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 93 large fires have burned more than 1.8 million acres of land.
That's sobering. It’s heartbreaking. Add in the stress of a pandemic and it's a nightmare.
We’re at a loss for words on exactly how to describe the devastation. The loss of homes, livelihoods and life are ongoing.
We feel for those dealing with these fires; please know you're in our thoughts and prayers. Kansans are always praying for rain, but usually not for reasons like this. That being said we’ll make an exception and we hope reprieve and respite find you soon.
We hope rebuilding comes easy. We know you’ll be back stronger than before.
To those firefighters combating the fires, we thank you. Your work is saving lives, wildlife and natural resources. Keep doing what needs done. Remember your training, stay safe and keep others out of harm's way.
To those looking for ways to help, perhaps give to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts or donate blood. No small act of kindness goes unnoticed.
When disasters strike Kansans answer the call. Historically, we’ve battled floods, tornadoes and thunderstorms, and we’ve always bounced back. Though rare we’re not immune to wildfires either.
A few years ago Western Kansas was ravaged by wildfires. You may recall the Anderson Creek fire of 2016 and the Starbuck fire of 2017. If not Google them you’ll see the devastation was tremendous especially for the area ranchers.
We were able to get back on our feet because our neighbors from both inside and outside of Kansas came to help. Some sent hay to ranchers, other have sent food and supplies. Some volunteered their time to fix fences.
Now we need to do the same. It's what neighbors do.
There are plenty of recovery funds, local community foundations, food banks and other ways to pitch in. Find one you feel strongly about, and if you can, offer your support.
Let's find a way for the Wheat State to support our Western neighbors in their time of need.