MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas Forest Service officials have announced that an annual project that aids in training new wildland firefighters on how to reduce the risk of wildfires will be held April 3-7 in Scott City.
The Hazard Fuels Mitigation project will take place at the Scott Wildlife Area and Historic Lake Scott State Park. The exercise is held in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Hutchinson Community College.
“This annual project is a great opportunity for the Kansas Forest Service and our partner agencies to work together to improve wildfire response and incident management skills, while at the same time doing work that will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires around Scott Lake,” said Eric Ward, assistant fire manager with the Kansas Forest Service, and incident commander for this year’s project.
Officials said the project includes conducting prescribed burns; reducing undesirable vegetation; removing deceased trees from wooded areas; and establishing fire breaks in hazardous areas. Hutchinson Community College students in the fire science program will gain experience working alongside mentors in the wildland fire community.
Scott Wildlife Area will be closed during the project, for the safety of mitigation personnel and local hunters. For more information on the closure, visit the website for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Continuous updates throughout the mitigation project will be posted on the Kansas Forest Service Twitter Page, @KSforestservice, as well as Facebook and Instagram. Questions, comments or concerns should be directed to Kansas Forest Service public information officer Shawna Hartman, email@example.com.
— Pat Melgares, K-State Research and Extension news service