An illegal outdoor burn Wednesday led to around 60 acres being scorched north of Manhattan.
Riley County Fire District No. 1 was dispatched shortly before 2 p.m. to an area near High Plains Trail, southwest of Tuttle Creek Lake dam for an out of control fire. Officials say an Evergy electrical transformer junction box was also damaged, but no outages were reported. Two homes were threatened but no evacuations were issued and no structures were lost. No injuries were reported.
Mutual aid was provided by the Manhattan Fire Department with more than two dozen firefighters responding to the blaze. Deputy Riley County Fire Chief Doug Russell, in a Wednesday news release, said the fire was difficult to fight over steep terrain and swirling winds in the valleys, creating what he calls “small fire tornadoes.”
Outdoor burning was not allowed Wednesday due to high winds and dangerous fire conditions. That continues today as a wind advisory is in place through Friday evening. South winds sustained between 25 and 35 mph are expected but winds could gust as high as 55 mph.