© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KCUR FM is operating at lower power and KCUR HD1 & HD2 (Classical) are off air while Kansas City PBS performs repair work. Signals will be restored this afternoon.
It's hot. High temperatures and a lack of rain have brought about the country's widest-ranging drought since the 1950s. The entire state of Missouri has been declared a federal disaster area, along with 82 counties in Kansas. Crops are struggling to survive, and so are cattle farmers who can't feed their livestock.

Fire Threat Heightened By Heat Trend, Holiday

Dan Verbeck

With high heat and low humidity, Kansas City metro area communities in two states are more fire conscious than ever in summertime. The imminent splurge of fireworks adds to the threats.

Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff Frank Denning said he plans to meet Monday with chiefs of fire departments in more rural parts of the county.

Denning noted that recent cutting of hay leaves fire-prone stubble in fields.

The Sheriff wants fire chiefs' assessment of fire hazards that change with every day of temperatures at or near 100 and lack of rain. He said there has been no county-wide ban of fireworks. Many communities, but not all, have banned fireworks entirely.

Overland Park, Kansas is one of them. Fire officials want residents to check to learn what’s allowed where they  plan using fireworks.

Kansas City, Kansas does allow certain fireworks and they are listed, have been for many years. KCK Deputy Fire Chief Craig Duke said today that lack of moisture will spread fires that get a head start.

There is only one positive in current weather, and that is--"the actual wind conditions haven’t been that worrisome."

Duke said one of the biggest concerns in a dry season is the fact that "we do have winds that can push fires in directions and areas we’re not wanting them to go.”

Fire officials  are worried that the high heat and dryness will continue into next week, a time when fireworks shooting is more common than any other time of the year.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.