In the News
Apr 11 2022
Jessica Watson | KSN
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Preventing them before they ignite. Senator Jerry Moran was in Hutchinson on Monday, touring the devastation left behind by wildfires.
Moran said he came to Reno County to see the devastation firsthand and find out what he could do to help prevent wildfires across Kansas.
“Certainly, what we heard about what was taking place in Reno County was really scary,” said Moran.
During The Cottonwood Complex Fire, 35 homes, 90 outbuildings and more than 100 vehicles were destroyed. The fire devastated many and has Hutchinson Fire Chief Steven Beer saying more needs to be done
“I think whether it’s state, local or federal funding, every fire chief in the state of Kansas will tell you we need more funding for mitigation dollars,” said Beer. “This problem is not going away soon.”
While in Hutchinson, Moran said more could be done to protect property from preventing fires to keeping them from spreading. One thing he said he would like to do is to get rid of invasive red cedar trees.
“We are going to talk to the Forest Service and see what we can do to be helpful. I mean, there’s a lot of reasons to get rid of cedar trees, and this is another one,” said Moran.
Beer said fire mitigation and funding could not come soon enough.
“As a fire chief with a Type A personality, we want things to happen now. So understanding politics, and how things work, and [the] bureaucracy that [it] takes, it does not come fast enough,” said Beer.
Beer said they are already planning and prepping vehicles for another fire risk day on Tuesday, raising concern over many control burns in the area Monday.