A ban on controlled burns will be effective in Ellis County beginning today. The ban is implemented due to increased grassland fire risk due in part to dry conditions and high winds, said Darin Myers, Ellis County emergency management coordinator and fire chief.

“We’ve had several days already, not just Ellis County, but many counties being in red-flag situations,” Myers said. “So it’s kind of just inevitable, unfortunately.”

Several other counties in the area including Russell, Rooks and Ellsworth either have implemented burn bans or are in the process of doing so, Myers said.

Two large grassfires were reported in Rooks, Ellis and Russell counties just after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Burning will not be allowed until county officials deem conditions have improved.

The last time a burn ban was implemented in Ellis County was last spring, when several grass fires caused extensive damage in many western Kansas counties.

“It would be nice if our fire season was not much of a fire season at all,” he said.