New Kansas Wildfire Task Force Reports Ways to Improve Wildfire Responses

By Quinn O’Hara

A new Statewide wildfire response task force has called for increased funds and resources, as well as more firefighters, to better fight wildfires in Kansas.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Wednesday the 29th that the Wildfire Task Force had finished its report on ways to better the response to wildfires in Kansas. The Task Force was formed in July of 2022 by Kelly with the intent of taking a deeper look at how we prevent and respond to wildfire disasters.

Kelly says the task force was chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam and included representatives from local, state and federal agencies and organizations that have played an active role in wildfire responses statewide, along with several state legislators.

The task force report has been organized into three sections: Mitigation and Prevention, Response and Recovery. The Governor said the report included recommendations to expand efforts to reduce fuel loads, improve weather monitoring, increase resources for local fire departments, and enhance funds for fire fighting equipment. The report also highlighted the importance of volunteer firefighters, and identified the recruitment and retainment of those forces as a top priority.

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