TOPEKA, Kan. - Gov. Sam Brownback is warning Kansas residents against lighting outdoor fires because of the state's severe drought, but he's not ready to impose a statewide ban on burning. Brownback acknowledged Friday that officials are studying the state's authority to impose a ban. But he said he prefers to leave such decisions to local communities.
All 105 Kansas counties are now covered by a drought disaster declaration, and 67 have imposed burning bans. Brownback told reporters after a meeting with state and local officials on drought issues that local officials are better judges of when to impose and lift such bans.
He also said he'll also look into harvesting prairie grass along state highways and at Cedar Crest, his official residence, to provide forage for livestock producers whose supplies are short.