May 17, 2024

Emergency Declaration issued after GCFD battles mile-wide blaze in Finney County

Garden City, Kan (WesternKansasNews.Com) – The governor has issued an emergency declaration for a wildfire in Finney County Monday afternoon.

Firefighters got the call around 2:20 PM that a large brush fire was located on Jennie Barker and Quarterhouse road nearing Residental structures. Upon arrival firefighters quickly realized that with the excessive heat and wind, the fire had grown out of control. The fire stretched to over 200 acres in what appeared to be a 600-acre wheat field that had yet been cut.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and Finney County Sherriff’s office started a search and evacuation around 2:30 PM as fire units continued to battle the blaze. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Forrest Services responded to the scene as well as the State Fire Marshall. It was determined that a Combine Header was the initial cause.


Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of a State of Disaster Emergency at 3:31 p.m. The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist local authorities with response and recovery operations

“Despite recent rains, there is still a risk of wildland fires across the state,” Kelly said. “I urge all Kansans to avoid outdoor burning, if possible, and to remain vigilant. It only takes a single spark from a lawn mower, a car engine, an unattended barbecue or other source to touch off a wildfire that could have devastating effects.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management did a partial activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka.

The fire was deemed under control around 5:30 PM. Agencies that responded to the scene were:

Garden City Fire Dept, Scott County Fire Dept, Garfield Township, Finney County EMS, Finney County Emergency Management, Finney County Road and Bridge, Kansas Wildland and Forest Services, and around 20 local farmers.