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Road J fire chars 450 acres, destroys barn

Area fire crews have had a hard three days, and quite possibly the worst of it came as advertised Sunday.
 
Several fires developed through the day, but perhaps the biggest started on Road 110 west of J and took off to the north. Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Eron Steinlage tells KVOE News firefighters had a challenging situation.
 
 
Firefighters responded from every Lyon County department and Dunlap. It took over two hours to contain the fire near a creek bed south of Road 130, but it took another two-plus hours for firefighters to feel satisfied there would not be a rekindle.
 
Thankfully, there were no injuries despite the fire coming very close to some houses in the 1200 block of J. Unfortunately, a barn was completely destroyed along with its contents.
 
Steinlage says the fire developed after a controlled burn Friday near 110 and J.
 
In Lyon County, fires developed at 1601 West South and Roads 140 and F. Both were small and were put out quickly. Miller and Harveyville fire crews went twice to Roads 380 and W after a grass fire started, was stopped and later rekindled.
 
Elsewhere across the KVOE listening area:
 
*Coffey County is reporting several grass fires that kept fire crews and deputies busy. Damage reports are pending.
*Greenwood County is reporting a small grass fire with minor damage.
*Morris County had a rekindle develop near Dwight. There were no injuries. Damage reports are forthcoming.
*Osage County had a grass fire develop near West 117th and South Auburn Road, about 10 miles north of Burlingame.
 
The fire activity Sunday came during almost perfect conditions for rapid and unstable fire growth. Temperatures hit 90 in Emporia and were in the upper 80s to low 90s areawide. Also, humidity levels were below 30 percent all day. Abundant dry grass was in place and southerly winds were up to 20 to 40 mph all afternoon. Red flag warnings covered most of the area and burn bans affected the two counties, Coffey and Osage, where red flag warnings were not issued.
 
Sunday's activity followed a pair of fires near Emporia, one in the 1300 block of Road K that was handled by Emporia and Olpe fire crews and one in the 1300 block of Road 200 that Emporia firefighters took care of. Reading and Miller firefighters went to the 1700 block of Road X on Saturday after a controlled burn got away.
 
Friday's big fire was in Coffey County about two miles east of Neosho Rapids. A controlled burn went out of control and burned about 200 acres before it was doused.

 
6 pm Sunday: Barn destroyed, other structures in jeopardy as grass fire revs up south of Emporia
 
Every Lyon County fire department is involved in a firefighting effort that has destroyed one barn and encroached upon several houses south of Emporia on Sunday.
 
The set of grass fires is in the 1200 block of Road J and developed around 4 pm. So far, no injuries have been reported.
 
Authorities have not confirmed the address where the barn was destroyed. Several homes, however, are nearby and fire crews have worked extremely hard to protect those from the blazes.
 
As expected, Sunday was a hard day for area fire crews. Miller and Harveyville firefighters went twice to Roads 380 and W after a grass fire developed, was extinguished and later rekindled. As the Road J fire started, a smaller grass fire started near Roads 140 and F. 
 
Details with these fires will likely be released Sunday night or Monday morning.
 
Stay with KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media for updates.

 
8:35 am Sunday: Most of KVOE territory in red flag warnings Sunday
 
Outdoor burning is banned in Lyon and all surrounding counties with extreme to critical fire danger in place Sunday.
 
The National Weather Service offices in Wichita and Topeka have issued red flag warnings covering most of the KVOE listening area:
 
*Lyon, Morris, Wabaunsee counties: 12-8 pm
*Chase, Greenwood counties: 1-7 pm
 
Temperatures are now expected to reach almost 90 degrees. Coupled with relative humidity levels between 20 and 30 percent, a lack of winter moisture and southerly winds between 25 and 40 mph, all ingredients are in place for rapid and unstable fire growth.
 
Lyon and several surrounding counties automatically enact burn bans whenever red flag warnings are issued. Coffey and Osage counties have enacted burn bans Sunday despite not currently being under a warning.
 
Stay updated on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media. Link to KVOE's Twitter and Facebook pages for instant news and weather alerts.
 
1:30 am Sunday: Saturday fires remain small; details emerge about Friday fire near Neosho Rapids
 
Lyon County fire crews were busy Saturday as grass fires popped up in several locations.
 
Early in the afternoon, a fire developed in the 1700 block of Road X. Reading, Hartford-Neosho Rapids and Miller fire crews as well as Lyon County deputies put out what turned to be a five-acre blaze.

Reading firefighters say a controlled burn got away.

Separately, firefighters from Reading and Miller were called out to a grass fire near Reading Cemetery. However, Reading firefighters have told KVOE News that blaze was a controlled burn.

 
Later, Emporia firefighters went out on two grass fires -- one in the 1300 block of K around 4 pm, the other in the 1300 block of Road 200 around 8 pm. Both were controlled burns that went out of control when landowners had mechanical issues with their water supplies.
 
Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Rich Gould says this has been a different grass fire season than in years past.
 
 
 
Thankfully, there were no injuries reported with any of the fires.
 
Fire crews areawide are hoping fires Saturday and Friday aren't the prelude to a big grass fire day Sunday. No red flag warnings are currently in effect, but a combination of near-record temperatures in the mid-80s, low humidity levels and south winds between 30 and 40 mph have fire departments urging people not to burn Sunday and to check prior burns to make sure no embers get away.
 
Fire near Neosho Rapids started as controlled burn
 
Meanwhile, more details have been made available about Friday's grass fire in western Coffey County that had firefighters from several area departments on scene for hours before the situation was brought under control.
 
Hartford-Neosho Rapids firefighter Larry Bess tells KVOE News a burn got away in the 150 block of 24th Road Northwest about two miles east of Neosho Rapids. The fire burned about 200 acres and came very close to two houses along the Lyon-Coffey county line but those were spared.
 
Hartford-Neosho Rapids fire crews had help from Americus, Emporia, Lebo and Reading to put that blaze out.