The Latest: Hay sought for ranchers after massive wildfire

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2016 8:49 AM
The Latest: Hay sought for ranchers after massive wildfire

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning across parts of Kansas and Oklahoma (all times local):

7:45 a.m.

Hay donations are being sought for ranchers whose land burned in a massive wildfire in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Kansas Livestock Association says it's accepting cash donations and that farmers' cooperatives in two Kansas communities are collecting hay donations.

Hundreds of firefighters and have been battling the blaze that started Tuesday in Oklahoma and spread into Kansas. As of Thursday, it had consumed 620 square miles of mostly farmland and ranchland in the two states.

Kansas Incident Management Team spokeswoman Kathleen Fabrizius (FUH'-brish-us) says officials are planning to fly over the area Friday to evaluate the damage.

Smoke from the blaze has been detected hundreds of miles away in St. Louis. At least one home has burned, but no serious injuries have been reported.

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7:30 a.m.

Meteorologists say the weather conditions could make it hard for crews to make headway against a wildfire that has scorched sparsely-populated areas of Oklahoma and Kansas.

The National Weather Service says wind gusts of up to 30 mph are expected to last from Friday morning through the afternoon.

Meteorologist Bill Turner says the big challenge will be keeping the fire from spreading again once the south wind picks up. He says the wind could blow sparks onto unburnt land.

The blaze has consumed at least 620 square miles since starting Tuesday in Oklahoma and spreading into Kansas. Kansas Incident Management Team spokeswoman Kathleen Fabrizius (FUH'-brish-us) says officials plan to fly over the area Friday to evaluate the damage.