Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed this week Wildfire Awareness Week in the state, noting that a significant number of wildfires can be prevented.
The governor noted in his proclamation that “preparation is crucial in preventing the loss of life and property from wildfires, and every Kansas citizen shares this responsibility.”
Kansas fire departments reported 3,222 vegetation fires through the National Fire Reporting System in 2013. The fires resulted in six reported injuries and burned more than 125,000 acres, causing at least $4.27 million in property loss and damages, according to the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council.
The text of the proclamation is below:
TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:
WHEREAS, The State of Kansas is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our state; and
WHEREAS, wildland fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, Kansas fire departments responded to 3,222 vegetation fires that resulted in 6 reported injuries, and $4,268,752 in property loss and damage; and
WHEREAS, eighty-two percent of the firefighters in Kansas volunteer their time and energy to suppress wildland fire; and
WHEREAS, we the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council encourage all residents to follow the guidelines for outside burning as described in Kansas Administrative Regulation 28-19-645 thru 649; and
WHEREAS, the majority of wildland fires will result from human activities; and
WHEREAS, preparation is crucial in preventing the loss of life and property from wildfires, and every Kansas citizen shares this responsibility; and
WHEREAS, protection measures such as defensible space around homes and communities, use of fire resistant building materials and adequate road access can help protect homes and communities; the public should exercise safe, responsible behavior when conducting outdoor burning, refrain from dangerous and unlawful use of fireworks and report all suspicious fire and smoke; and
WHEREAS, on average, Kansas records about 125,000 acres in wildland fires annually; and
WHEREAS, Kansas first responders and the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of wildland fires, injuries and property loss as a result of wildland fire;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim February 16th – 22nd, of 2014 as
Wildfire Awareness Week
in Kansas and I urge all citizens to join in this observation.
DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka under the Great Seal of the State this 30th day of January, A.D. 2014.
—Press release via Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal