Firefighter walking towards wildfire in prairie grassTwo wildfires consumed thousands of acres north of Manhattan, Kansas, forcing road closures and evacuation notices in Riley and Pottawatomie counties. According to Becky Ryan, public information officer for Pottawatomie County, the fire began as a prescribed burn, commonly performed in Kansas to control invasive plants, encourage new prairie growth and prevent wildfires.

The fires have destroyed at least one home, but no fatalities have been reported, according to the Kansas Forest Service.

Crews are responding to two significant fires, the Axelton Hill Road, or Jenkins Fire, and the Big Blue 2 Fire. On Sunday morning, Riley County Fire District No. 1 reported the fire had burned more than 3,000 acres just in that county. The Kansas Forest Service estimated that the fire was 80% contained on Monday afternoon.
The Big Blue 2 Fire is burning near the town of Blue Rapids in Marshall County.

The counties affected by the fires are all experiencing abnormally dry conditions or moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Map.

Learn more about the Kansas wildfire here.