EXCLUSIVE: Ashland, KS Battles Another Fire, Declining Crops

March 9, 2018 04:05 PM
 
 

Southwest Kansas, like many regions in the central plains, are turning into kindling for wildfires.

Clark County, Kansas is seeing another blaze one day shy of the one-year anniversary of the Starbuck wildfire.

After that fire, the area received roughly 21 inches of rain in the course of two months, which is more than the area's annual rainfall. The rain is causing pasture grasses to grow and create abundant fuel for wildfires.

Now, drought has set in and there's lack of forage. Some wheat conditions are deteriorating.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is confirming dire these conditions in its March 5 edition of the Kansas Crop Progress and Condition report. The USDA says 50 percent of winter wheat conditions are rated poor to very poor, 37 percent is fair and 13 percent is ranked good to excellent.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is also showing dryness in the southern Plains. The latest monitor shows nearly the whole state is impacted by drought. Nearly 77 percent of the state is considered a moderate drought and nearly 44 percent is severe drought, almost 19 percent is experiencing extreme drought.

Drovers reporter, Wyatt Bechtel travels to Ashland, Kansas and talks with Grant Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch about forage conditions and the blaze last week

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