If you live in Leoti, you probably heard the fire whistles on Monday evening. I learned that a cigarette butt was tossed into a garage area and landed on a lawnmower. From what I have heard, the garage was a total loss. I caution you that this information is just heresay.
I was told late yesterday afternoon that a MAJOR prairie fire broke out in Stanton County--more particularly, in the Johnson and Manter area. This morning, I learned that 12 square miles burned!!! School kids in Johnson were not allowed to leave school at the end of the day. Leighlyn is one of the Wichita County kids who is a member of Quiz Bowl. They met with a good number of other teams in Meade yesterday. The tournament was over at approximately 7:00. Stanton County kids were told that they would not be allowed back into Johnson for quite some time.
I have an uncle and aunt who live in Johnson. I will be calling them this morning to check on them.
Folks, these two cases show just how easily and quickly fires can start and get out of hand. For the past few days, much of Western Kansas, including Stanton County and us, have been under a "red flag watch" which means that conditions are favorable for fires to get started and then rage out of control. We all need to take heed from all of this. Don't throw burning cigarettes out. Don't do any burning in your yards or fields during red flag conditions.