(Riley County, KS – April 18, 2023) The Riley County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have declared a local disaster emergency, activating disaster emergency plans to help fight the wildfire currently burning in the north portion of the county. The declaration was issued because the fires near Indian Hill Road and Mariadahl Road imminently threaten to cause wide-spread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property in disaster proportion. Commission Chairwoman Katheryn Focke signed the declaration April 18, and it will remain in effect for seven days unless earlier terminated or renewed.
Riley County Fire District #1 is sending volunteers and fire apparatus from all parts of the county to assist with the fire. Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Russel Stukey has requested state aid, including air support. Marshall County Fire Department is also on scene providing mutual aid.
This fire is also burning a large area in Pottawatomie County. The fire started yesterday, rekindled today, and crossed the Blue River channel, igniting US Army Corps of Engineer land. No estimates are currently available for the number of acres burned.
Residents in the area are encouraged to stay aware, as this is a large fire and conditions could change quickly.