McPherson County firefighting units are still being called on in support of the wildfires in neighboring counties, specifically in Harvey County's town of Burrton, 25 miles south of the city of McPherson. But for today at least, the city of McPherson Fire Department is able to stick closer to home.
“Not city of McPherson units, but county units are going down there and aiding again today,” clarified McPherson Fire Department Chief Jeff Deal. “We've had units down there since the inception of [the fires], so they'll continue to support that.”
Chief Deal along with Division Chief TJ Wyssmann have provided Incident Command Position support in Harvey County and traded off 12-hour shifts in support of the firefighting efforts in Burrton.
“We've provided Incident Command Positions in the form of Emergency Communication Center (EOC) Manager.” Chief Deal further explained that he and Division Chief Wyssmann alternately served as Incident Commander and Deputy Incident Commander during their operational time in Burrton.
As of now, the McPherson City Fire Department is staying closer to home, though time will tell if their support will be needed again in neighboring counties who are still fighting the effects of the fires.
“There may be another request for Incident Command Support, but right now, we still need to do some taking care of our home territory as well.”
The wildfires that started in Oklahoma and spread into Kansas have consumed approximately 100,000 acres. What sparked the fires is still under investigation, but statistically, 95 percent of the cause of wildfires are human-related.