McPherson County is not considered in a drought — yet. But that doesn’t mean caution is not needed right now.
The Grassland Fire Index hit “Very High” this week.
According to the National Weather Service, this is a dry period for the region each year — and dry grass can provide fuel for grassland fires.
All of our long grasses are pretty dry and crispy out there,” said Chris Jakub with the National Weather Service in Wichita. “Conditions are definitely ripe for any possible grass fires. ... We recommend that people not do any outdoor burning and people be careful with any outdoor activities. you do not want to create sparks in any grass area.”
There is a chance for rain — about 70 percent — on Wednesday.
Also listed in the "Very High" portion of the Grassland Fire Index are Hutchinson, Salina and Wichita. Butler County is in the "High" risk area.
“We have decent weather system moving up here,” Jakub said., “it will not be a whole lot of rain, but it will be something. It could give us a quarter of an inch.”
Portions of Harvey and McPherson counties are currently listed as “abnormally dry” on the U.S. Drought Monitor. The next step on the scale is “moderate drought.”
Abnormally dry means wheat and grasses are drought stresses and hay demand usually increases. Fire danger is increased, and pond levels begin to drop.
“Typically we do not get much rain this time of year,” Jakub said. “A quarter of an inch can bring you close to normal.”