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Firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires in Kansas and Nebraska

Firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires in Kansas and Nebraska

Wabaunsee Co. firefighters, along with Shawnee Co. and Auburn firefighters, are also battling a grass fire near Echo Ridge and Harveyville Road.

A grass fire encroached upon the town of Hamilton in central Greenwood County on Wednesday.

Officials say two Kansas Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters and eight soldiers from Topeka are headed for Greenwood County to help fire crews.

ELLIS COUNTY - The Kansas National Guard deployed two Black Hawk helicopters from Salina earlier Tuesday afternoon to help fight today's second major wildfire, according to the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

Forecasters are warning of a high risk of wildfires after one blaze burned 10,000 hay bales in the southwest part of the state. Weather conditions were improving with increased humidity and decreasing winds, but grass is still very dry and people are urged to continue using caution with any sources of fire.

Authorities also ask people to stay away from affected areas and not to drive through heavy smoke. "But already in the last few days we've had over fifty fires across the state of Kansas", said Gov. Colyer. The Adjutant General's office says the public should avoid any activity that could create a spark and touch off a new fire. Emergency crews were in the final cleanup stages of 10 other fires, and 16 fires were still burning but contained as of Tuesday night. The Kansas Army National Guard is providing aerial firefighting support for local firefighters. An EMS/fire tower tumbled in Logan County. That pole crashed down onto three cars in Clearwater. After gusts of nearly 50 miles per hour Tuesday in Wichita, winds will not be as strong Wednesday.

Most of the fires have been contained or extinguished, though strong winds complicated the firefight Tuesday with gusts in western Kansas topping 70 miles per hour.

The highest wind gust was 70 miles per hour in western Kansas. The only areas where red flag fire warnings haven't been issued are in northeast and far north-central.

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