I hope all of you were able to experience the true joy of the Christmas season with your family and friends this past week! I want to revisit the topic of my column from last week about the wildfires that ravaged parts of Osborne, Russell, Rooks and Ellis counties on December 15 because of a revision in the number of acres burned. After press time for my column last week, the Kansas Forest Service posted this on Facebook last Tuesday.
“The Kansas Forest Service strives to balance timeliness and accuracy of information. More accurate mapping has resulted in a change in total wildfire acres across western Kansas.The Kansas Forest Service together with the National Interagency Fire Coordination Center are using a new satellite data system to map ongoing wildfires. Further analysis of satellite mapping data in Kansas has resulted in revised acreage for the fires that occurred December 15, and detection of fires not previously reported. As the air cleared of heat, dust and smoke, the satellite was able to get a clearer picture of the landscape. We also learned in using this new satellite technology some of the fires’ perimeters were calculated twice. The newly released map has the updated acres from the recent satellite imagery.”