National Weather Service graphic – April 3, 2023

Fire danger will be elevated over the next few days, with a Fire Weather Watch in place Tuesday.

Kansas Forest Service Assistant Fire Management Officer Eric Ward says his office advocates for the safe use of prescribed burning and using that cautiously, encouraging delayed burning until conditions are safer. He also notes that burns should be checked and rechecked again.

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Drought conditions have created more dangerous fire conditions as a lot of wheat that was planted hasn’t come up to create buffers for potential fires. Manhattan saw just 0.61 inches of precipitation in March, bringing the year-to-date total to 3.26 inches, which is still about a half inch below normal for this time of year.

K-State Mesonet Manager and Meteorologist Chip Redmond says that just adds to the recipe for more aggressive fire weather conditions this week.

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As for winter weather, Redmond says the Manhattan area is tied for its fourth least snowy start to the year.

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Winds will continue to gust through Friday before subsiding this weekend.

There was a brief window where ag producers took advantage over the weekend and did some prescribed burns. Riley County Fire District No. 1 reminded residents Monday morning via its Facebook page to recheck those areas ahead of Tuesday’s Fire Weather Watch.