- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) - Crews patrolled a wildfire Tuesday that has burned hundreds of square miles of sparsely populated land in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The fire, which started last week in Oklahoma before spreading to southern Kansas, has largely been contained. Barber County Attorney Gaten Wood said crews on Tuesday found one hot spot that flared briefly before it was controlled. He said crews would again watch the fire closely Wednesday because of high winds and dry conditions in the forecast.

Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Hannah Anderson said crews also would continue to patrol and monitor the fire line there and work on putting out any hot spots.

The fire destroyed several homes in rural Barber County, where most of the damage occurred. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Hutchinson News (https://bit.ly/1Tgr8HS ) reports that ranchers in the county, which has more cattle than people, have begun recovery efforts.

Nick Minks, a Stafford resident, hauled in 34 round bales of hay from Ellsworth County ranchers, including his in-laws, to feed hungry cattle.

“People are doing exactly what you’d expect,” Minks said. “Everyone wants to help out in some way.”

The aftermath of fire is visible on David Johnson’s Deerhead Ranch. About 50 cows and countless calves didn’t make it out of the fire’s way, and many of those that did have scorched hair.

Johnson said he lost his supply of hay. That is, until Minks visited refill his inventory.

“It’s amazing,” said Johnson’s daughter, Lori. “What an awesome community we live in.”

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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